And so the coming prohibition on tobacco comes one step closer.
As we all know prohibitions work really well. And as with the alcohol prohibition of the early 1900's the coming tobacco prohibition that is sure to come will have the same impact on this country.
Henry Waxman - Lunatic in the Box
With passage of the absolutely outrageous and deceptively entitled bill called the Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act
(HR 1256) brought forth by Congressman Henry Waxman, the United States takes one more step closer to controlling every act that citizens of this country make. Whether it is having a little red wine after dinner, having a cigar, a cigarette or dipping or chewing tobacco. All of this is being done in the name of "the public interest". And all of it is being done without input from the public, but input from those who want to control what you do under the guise of good.
It is stated outright in the bill under their findings:
"(12) It is in the public interest for Congress to enact legislation that provides the Food and Drug Administration with the authority to regulate tobacco products and the advertising and promotion of such products. The benefits to the American people from enacting such legislation would be significant in human and economic terms."
This new act creates an agency within the Food and Drug Administration called the "Center for Tobacco Products" that I assume will be headed up by a Tobacco Czar that will control an entire industry within our agriculture community and within our business community. This agency will dictate how and when tobacco can be grown and sold. It also puts limitations on advertising requiring all cigarette ads to be in ominous black and white. Many times it has been stated that "this is for the children" and the title of The Act, using the word "Family", is telling.
Wendy Kaminer hits the nail on the head on prohibitions with her article Prohibition Creeps Back. In the piece she wrote she was relating the the prohibition on alcohol, but it is just as relevant for any prohibition.
Prohibition was a disaster, as nearly everyone must know. By banning the legal sale of alcohol, the Nineteenth (and stupidest) Amendment to the Constitution, enacted in 1919, effectively promoted illegal sales of sometimes toxic substitutes, spawned lucrative new criminal enterprises, and greatly increased police corruption without decreasing alcohol consumption. Congress and the states repealed Prohibition fourteen years later in a belated fit of common sense.
This relatively soft or sneaky approach to Prohibition also characterizes the latest assault on smoking tobacco. Cigarettes will not be outlawed outright; too many voters enjoy or are addicted to smoking. But bans on smoking are increasing.
The bill states that they know there is illicit trafficking of cigarettes. They seem to think that clamping down harder is going to minimize this? From "their findings".
(35) Tobacco products have been used to facilitate and finance criminal activities both domestically and internationally. Illicit trade of tobacco products has been linked to organized crime and terrorist groups.
Who will be the new Al Capone of Tobacco?
We have established drug distribution throughout the United States by the drug cartels in this country. They are probably chomping at the bit for the day when people like Henry Waxman totally outlaw tobacco, because it can be assured that they will pick up where legalization left off. I can see there being smoking "speakeasies" throughout the country. Like the Rum Runners of the past there will be Butt Runners. Normal law abiding citizens will be criminalized and their lives destroyed.
Analyzing the reasoning for this bill sounds eerily familiar and once again history is forgotten. The Cato Institute has a great article on prohibition and why it was put into place.
National prohibition of alcohol (1920-33)--the "noble experiment"--was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America. The results of that experiment clearly indicate that it was a miserable failure on all counts.
Although consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, it subsequently increased. Alcohol became more dangerous to consume; crime increased and became "organized"; the court and prison systems were stretched to the breaking point; and corruption of public officials was rampant.
To think that things would be any different in this day and age is to deny human nature. And before anyone accuses me of skewing this bill into what it is not "a prohibition", I assure you that is the direction they are headed. They have already targeted other substances such as trans-fat, yet the difference is that trans-fat is not addictive. It doesn't take much to do a search to find out how many store robberies include the stealing of cash - and cigarettes.
As far as the advertising of cigarettes - and their want to crackdown on it - I'd like to ask a very simple, common sense question. Where is crack, heroin or marijuana advertised? Yet we continue to see an increase in new users. Making some draconian laws against advertising is not going to curb the continued use of tobacco.
There is also a hint of the power of the Black Caucus in this bill. Under Section 907 there is a special rule which outlaws any flavor additives to cigarettes. Conspicuously present is a special exclusion for menthol, which is predominately the choice of black smokers.
SPECIAL RULE FOR CIGARETTES- Beginning 3 months after the date of enactment of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a cigarette or any of its component parts (including the tobacco, filter, or paper) shall not contain, as a constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.
I find it quite funny that the Black Caucus, which is liberal, would be in favor of the smoking prohibition, but then put in provisions specifically targeted at allowing blacks to continue to smoke. The hypocrisy is thick.
Any person in this country, smoker or otherwise should be worried about this continued intrusion on basic civil liberties in this country.
Current stats are that 1 in 5 people smoke. This does not include the many who smoke cigars or pipes or other occasional enjoying indulgences which would make the number quite higher. This is a large percentage of this country. To put the numbers in perspective, 20% is greater than the number who self-identify as gay and greater than the number of Blacks and Hispanics in this country. It is a large percentage of people who are having their liberties stripped by dictate. If this was happening to any other minority - of which smokers currently are - there would be outrage and a call for equal rights.
The anti-smoker lobby is made up of mostly far left liberals who have no problems with telling you what to do, eat, drink or how to have fun. They have succeeded over the past decades to absolutely demonize smokers as the spawn of Satan. Don't believe me? Try smoking out in California. You will get the most hateful looks you have ever received in your life. These people seem to want to physically murder you for puffing on some leaves. The same people calling for "hate laws" display the most hate I have ever seen.
The most asinine part of all of the anti-tobacco and smoking people out there is that I'm guessing if you asked them, they'd be the current people pushing for legalizing Marijuana. They argue that Marijuana isn't bad for you. As if inhaling that smoke is any different.
And before you think I'm exaggerating read these headlines and tell me that there is not a definite plan to discriminate against individuals:
Weyco Inc Fires All Smoking Employee's
Northwest Airlines To Charge Smokers More For Insurance
More Companies Firing Smokers
Scotts Miracle-Gro To Fire Smokers
San Francisco Bans Smoking In Public
California Deems Second Hand Smoke Pollution
Calabasas California Bans Smoking Outside
Turner Broadcasting To Edit Smoking Out Of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons
Al Gore Says Cigarette Smoke Causes Global Warming
Minnesota State Senate Passes 'Public' Smoking Ban
California To Allow Landlords To Discriminate Against Smokers.
The lies that have been perpetrated throughout the decades on the impacts of tobacco are beyond belief and simply staggering in their lack of intellectual honesty. I certainly agree that cigarettes and tobacco are not good for you. However, every lung cancer and heart disease death is attributed to smoking if that person smoked. People who die of lung cancer who lived with a smoker are counted as victims. In some states they seem to have come to the conclusion and passed laws that even if your neighbor smokes - outside in their yard - that you are now a potential lung cancer death for their statistics. Rather than researching actual causes of deaths, it has all been thrown on the scapegoat of smoking and smokers.
Below is a video of the show called Bullshit where they show exactly where and who came up with the statistics on second hand smoking dangers.
But making up statistics to fit your beliefs is not new and won't be going anywhere soon.
Using these stats they estimate that 400,000 people a year die from smoking. I call BS on that "statistic". Alcohol certainly kills more in my opinion. Not too many smoking related traffic deaths, but there are many alcohol related traffic deaths throughout your closest city daily. But I'm not calling for the outlaw of alcohol like some lunatic jack-in-the-box who just repeats what they hear.
Whether you are opposed to smoking or not, I can guarantee you that something you do enjoy is next in line for targeting. Whether that be beer, wine, soda or a greasy bacon and cheese hamburger. Ignore the intrusion of the government on your life at your own peril. They will take the same tactics they have against smoking. They will trump up the false statistics to a point where they can shut down what you do.
St Valentines Day Massacre Anyone?
With the coming Universal Socialized Health Care actions that they are currently trying to shove down our throats, expect for yourself to be blacklisted along with smokers. Did you have one too many potato chips? Well too bad you'll have to get in the back of the line for care because the government told you not to eat them and now won't cover your care. And since private doctors will become scarcer, their prices will increase out of the reach of those of the hack doctors that sign onto the government tenured payroll.
I'm not going to go off on a rant on health care, but once the government starts deciding - based on pressure from some ideologues with power - what you can and can't do to qualify, then you can expect to be persecuted. Read my little Jack Smith, Injured Individual Goes On Trial story if you're interested in how Health Care could one day be regarding smokers, drinkers and general social behavior.
I'm telling you now that you better start paying attention to the liberties being infringed upon of yours - and businesses.
There is an old poem that you should think on. While it was written on the issue of the Nazi regime and racists in general, it is relevant when thinking on your general liberties as well.
In Germany, they came first for the Communists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then... they came for me...
And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
For in the end when one of the liberties you enjoy is at stake, there may be no way left for you to fight back.