Friday, March 18, 2011

No more flavor for you, smokers

An FDA advisory panel, in the very sort of administrative overreach that many people warned about when that department was granted the power to regulate tobacco products, has recommended unilaterally banning the menthol cigarettes that comprise 30% of all U.S. sales, apparently operating on the theory that limiting smokes to natural flavors "may" help curb teenage experimentation.  They don't know for sure such a step would work, of course, but that ignorance isn't stopping them any.

Those government bureaucrats don't know the first thing about kids, do they? 

This proposed move makes about as much sense as banning all flavored vodkas, leaving only the plain varieties, simply because a few misbehaving kids (just like millions of adults) might prefer a little taste with their chosen vice.

"Even the chairman of the panel that made the FDA recommendation expressed concern that a ban could push menthols into the black market."

But not enough of a concern to prevent the panelists from advocating one more stupid restriction on consenting American adults, though.  At least right now those cigarettes are taxed and somewhat regulated.  If such a ban goes through then all subsequent bets are off.  Can anyone say "massive resurgence of organized crime"?

Look, if people wish to slowly kill themselves by regularly enjoying the smooth, rich taste of cigarettes (no matter what flavor they might choose) they should be free to do so, as it's not the government's business which rocket-sled to hell the citizens freely pick.  And we say this as non-smokers who can't stand the smell and come from a health-care background, as well as have family members who are experiencing significant negative health effects from smoking.

1 comment:

Grace R said...

It's in our best interests to get rid of smoking. It costs taxpayers and businesses multi billions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity.

Now, generally, I would agree with you - if someone wants to do something, that's their business. However, when the thing they want to do takes money from my pocket, then it's my business too.

Anything to get rid of smoking/tobacco use is something I'm 100% for.