The anti-smoking lobby is wasting our time and money by trying to outspend Big Tobacco in the efforts to convince people to not smoke. If our elected officials and public health advocates really cared about people’s health – and if smoking is truly the death bringer that they say it is -an all-out effort should be made to make tobacco an illegal substance.
For the record, I really don’t care if people choose to smoke. I am not an anti-smoking advocate/zealot. If tobacco is legal, people should be free to smoke wherever and whenever they like. If a business owner wants to cater to smokers and as a result lose business from non-smokers, and have a hard time hiring employees who don’t want to be exposed to smoke, that should be their choice. Before all the smoking rules were laid down, for the most part I avoided establishments that were havens for smokers.
My position is clear, in that if you are in agreement with the statistics that deal with smoking and are legitimately concerned about the damage that smoking is believed to cause, than there is no other course of action than to ban tobacco and all tobacco products.
Statistics have been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that show the decline in the smoking rate has stalled since 2004, and that approximately 20 percent of Americans are smokers. Right on cue, anti-smoking advocates have used this news to go public with requests to spend more money on anti-smoking campaigns that counter the marketing programs of cigarette makers, and want cigarette taxes increased.
I find it interesting that rather than focus efforts on getting tobacco banned, groups like the Campaign for Smoke Free Kids want to spend money on anti-smoking education, and instead of working to create a cigarette-free society for “the children” they just want to raise more money through the sale of tobacco products. Groups like the Campaign for Smoke Free Kids, politicians and everyone else who plays the “Smoking Card,” are hypocrites. These types don’t want to ban tobacco products; they just want to feed at the tobacco revenue teat.
I’m not here to argue with the stats from the CDC. According to the CDC, “Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, resulting in approximately 438,000 deaths annually.” Based on this stat the sole concern of the anti-smoking folks should be to ban tobacco.
Faced with this death rate from cigarettes, any person who claims to be interested in protecting the public’s health via spending money and effort on anti-smoking education, or higher taxes on tobacco products, is a charlatan.
The public health apparatus has sprung into action when e coli and Mad Cow disease killed a handful of people over the years. According to CDC stats, e coli kills about 60 Americans every year and tons of food has been destroyed in the efforts to keep e coli from affecting people. Mad Cow disease is more rare, and yet there have been massive efforts to prevent its spread.
With 438,000 Americans dying every year from smoking cigarettes how can any serious public health advocate support anything but a total outlaw of tobacco and tobacco products? We don’t need more legislation or create more bureaucracy to deal with smoking if tobacco is such a killer.
The anti-smoking movement is all just a money grab. Anti-smoking advocacy groups should work together to get smoking banned and construct a movement that focuses everyone’s efforts on preventing those 438,000 yearly deaths. Politicians just want to fill the government coffers with tobacco money rather than protect us from the dangers of cigarette smoking. Anti-smoking politicians accept death from smoking because it’s profitable to do so, and because tobacco provides cash to satisfy profligate government spending.
If smoking really represents such a dire heath risk the only acceptable course of action to be taken by public health officials and advocacy groups is to pursue a total ban of tobacco. Forget about raising awareness about forms of cancer, other health problems, the chemicals in cigarettes or any other nonsense; work to ban tobacco.
When you consider that the states collect over $22 billion a year from tobacco taxes and settlements, there’s not much chance of this happening, which proves that the anti-smoking people are ultimately more concerned with collecting money than protecting health.