Landmark legislation approved by the Senate yesterday will give the federal government sweeping new powers to oversee tobacco products, allowing regulators to control factors including the amount of addictive nicotine in a cigarette and how that cigarette is packaged and marketed.Here is my question: why? Why are we tacitly implying that there is only one entity responsible for tobacco use? Of course it's the tobacco industry that is making these people smoke. We live in a world of zero accountability; there is no personal responsibility. This is another sign of the government knowing what's better for you than you do. I don't necessarily agree with the tobacco industry and how it markets its product, but the government has no right to impose sweeping regulations such as these.
Many of the new restrictions are aimed at preventing children from starting to smoke. Cherry and other fruit flavorings that appeal to children will be banned, along with marketing aimed at younger smokers, such as the use of Joe Camel and other cartoon characters.
No one is forcing these cigarettes into the mouths of people; everyone who smokes does so of their own accord. You know who is to blame? If I get lung cancer, that's on me, and no one else. If the government's concern is with regards to curbing healthcare costs, there is a reason why insurance companies want to know if you smoke. Those extra costs are coming out of the pockets of the people who choose to smoke.
If the government has gone this far, why should it not go further? Let us pass legislation that would set strict fat and calorie thresholds on fast food products. We want to fight healthcare costs, right? Well, obesity is surely one of the most common reasons in this country for health ailments. What is going to come next? I can only imagine.
Photo via smokefreeuk.