This week I was listening to Rush Limbaugh on WABC 770 AM and he was speaking about a county in Maryland that had recently passed a law that would, for the most part, effectively ban smoking in a individuals home. Basically what it does is this; if a person offends a neighbor by smoking in his own home he can be fined up to 750.OO. THATS RIGHT 750.00!
Recently some states have won financial concessions from the tobacco companies. I myself do not smoke, although I did about some twenty years ago, but in my view this is all a bunch of hooey. The main argument of the anti-tobacconists, and their greedy legal reps is this:
The tobacco companies acted irresponsibly by denying that smoking cigarettes were related to lung and heart disease. As a result the states were forced to shell out millions of dollars in Medicaid money to pay for the treatment of the smokers that contracted said diseases.
This is a con game if ever I heard one. How about placing the responsibility for the smokers diseases on his desire to continue to smoke in lieu of the warning labels that were placed on cigarette packs? I mean, if you chose to ignore the warnings whose fault is it?
Myth #2 Tobacco advertising directed at kids.
Ask any kid as to why he smokes and most will answer, because my friends do or my parents do. I dont think Joe Camel has anything to do with kids smoking. And if Joe Camel did influence a kid wouldnt he not smoke Camels? That is the gist of the ad isnt it? To smoke Camels.
Heres another good one. Recently a black group decided to sue the tobacco industry because they felt that the mean old tobacco companies specifically targeted them to smoke menthol cigarettes that happen to have a higher content of nicotine and carcinogens. While it is obvious to even the most casual onlookers that those ads are aimed at minorities it is in my mind, due no doubt, to research conducted by the tobacco companies themselves and their ad industry counterparts that showed that minorities, particularly blacks showed a preference for menthol cigarettes.
Not one of those ads ever said you had to smoke these types of cigarettes or any brand of cigarettes for that matter. Additionally no ad said you had to smoke in the first place. What the ads did say was that if you chose to smoke, then please smoke this particular brand of cigarette.
Okay so much for ridiculous litigation. Lets move on to the anti-smokers themselves. First they had smoking sections made mandatory in public places. The next move was to have smoking banned in public places. It just seems to me that the anti-smoking tree huggers will not rest until smoking tobacco becomes illegal or at the very least drives the tobacco industry out of business altogether in the United States. What will happen then? Well we might just see tobacco companies moving to such countries such as Mexico to grow tobacco. There will be no restrictions on nicotine content or other regulations. Just think smokers in this country will be paying even higher prices for a more highly addictive smoke. Tobacco farmers will be busted, thousands of tobacco employees will be unemployed and tobacco companies will still rake in huge profits. I am sure that they will find cheap labor sources for the production of their product. But best of all, the tobacco companies will be pretty much immune to any American legislation, as they will have incorporated themselves under the laws of another sovereign nation. Additionally there are plenty of markets in the rest of the world.
So I ask you what is next, anti-beer legislation? Are we going to target companies like Anhieser-Bush or Miller for deaths due to DWI or for fetal alcohol syndrome because the individuals who chose to drink acted irresponsibly? Hold on to your beer mugs folks that is all I can say!
One last word, if the anti-tobacco/smoking contingent spent as much effort into anti-drug consumptionwell it was just a thought.
A couple of years ago I either read an article, or heard on a news program about a man in Tennessee who recently lost visitation rights to his children. Apparently his ex-wife detested him so much that she appealed to the courts to have his rights removed because he smoked. Ill say it again, BECAUSE HE SMOKED! The proposition was put forth by her attorney that because he smoked he constituted a major health hazard for the children, both of which were healthy. The judge sided with the mother. Please note that neither child had any history of breathing disorders or lung disease. I am quite sure that the dad would have gladly gone outside to smoke during visitations. Chalk up another victory for the P.C. anti-smoke crowd, I am very sure you are all very proud of yourselves for helping to deny the rights of a man to see his kids. My question is this: where are his rights?