U.S. Surgeon General: We need more … smoking bans! And tobacco taxes!

posted at 3:05 pm on March 8, 2012 by Tina Korbe

In a report released today, the U.S. Surgeon General called for increased governmental measures to cut down on youth tobacco use. Less than one in five high-school-aged teenagers smoke cigarettes, but the rate of decline among youth users has slowed and the Surgeon General wants to do something to slow the pace further. The Washington Times reports:

More work needs to be done to keep young Americans from using tobacco, including creating smoking bans and increasing taxes on tobacco products, the U.S. Surgeon General’s office said in a report released Thursday. …

“In order to end this epidemic, we need to focus on where we can prevent it and where we can see the most effect, and that’s with young people,” Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We want to make our next generation tobacco-free, and I think we can.”The report details youth tobacco use, health impacts, and tobacco marketing and prevention efforts in the U.S. Officials hope the information will reinvigorate anti-tobacco efforts and spark public activism in reducing death and disease caused by tobacco use.

The report also recommended anti-smoking campaigns and increased restrictions under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate tobacco as other ways to prevent adolescents and young adults from using tobacco products.

Why is this a legitimate object of the federal government? Kathleen Sebelius would probably say fewer smokers mean lower health care costs for the country — and that’s true. If the federal government hadn’t taken over health care or inserted itself into the health care industry at all, though, that wouldn’t be an issue. So, I ask again: Why is this a legitimate object of the federal government?

As with so much that the federal government wants to regulate and control, the decision to smoke is a personal one, just as the decision to ban smoking in a restaurant is the prerogative of the restaurant owner. At the very least, this issue should be left up to state and local governments.

Look, nobody dislikes the smell of smoke more than me — I won’t eat at a restaurant that reeks — and I continue to marvel at classmates who sat through countless D.A.R.E. presentations in elementary school and still decided to light up when they reached high school. I never had the slightest desire to touch the stuff — and can still sing word for word the anti-smoking song my elementary school music teacher taught us. (It was to the tune of Ado Annie’s “I’m just a girl who can’t say no,” and began, “I’m just a kid who’ll always say no. I won’t smoke or drink. Why should I follow those who will? I want to be able to think!)

The reasons not to smoke are manifest, and parents, teachers and others close to adolescents have a responsibility to educate teens about the risks of smoking. Here are some fun stats to start:

Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of—

  • coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times
  • stroke by 2 to 4 times
  • men developing lung cancer by 23 times
  • women developing lung cancer by 13 times

Where parents and teachers fail, private initiatives or intermediary institutions should pick up the slack. Bureaucrats like the Surgeon General prove by their zeal for federal solutions that they don’t trust parents to do their job and won’t even give parents a chance to prove them wrong.


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Comment pages: 1 2

We also need safer guns and safer bullets. That way no one gets killed at an Eric Clapner concert.

Doughboy on March 8, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Why is this a legitimate object of the federal government?

Remind us of your position on the legalization of marijuana would you?

libfreeordie on March 8, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Ban all of us./

Bmore on March 8, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Gee, what’s next…gasoline?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Be back to comment in a sec…just running outside for a smoke.

Trafalgar on March 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM

If you want more freedom, then give us more control over your lives./

Southernblogger on March 8, 2012 at 3:10 PM

and can still sing word for word the anti-smoking song my elementary school music teacher taught us. (It was to the tune of Ado Annie’s “I’m just a girl who can’t say no,” and began, “I’m just a kid who’ll always say no. I won’t smoke or drink. Why should I follow those who will? I want to be able to think!)

You have got to be kidding me? Have things gotten so bad in the schools that this is now normal?

sharrukin on March 8, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Congress needs to mandate that everyone in the U.S. purchase at least one pack of cigarettes a week (or the equivalent in other tobacco products).

While we’re at it, let’s also mandate purchase of a six-pack of beer(or equivalent) per week, as well as a box of ammunition. Finally, give ATF some real teeth in enforcing this law in conjunction with the IRS.

I’m sure it’s constitutional, since it will support interstate commerce, and is necessary and proper.

Oh, by the way… don’t think that just because you have to buy the tobacco that you’ll be allowed to smoke legally… that would be wrong.

malclave on March 8, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Give me your cig, I’ll give you a condom–Obama Exchange Program.

hillsoftx on March 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Why is this a legitimate object of the federal government?

The Surgeon General is just using Michelle Obama as her role model. Michelle wants the feds to regulate what we eat.

Bitter Clinger on March 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Living produces a 100% chance of death. Film at 11.

nobar on March 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Apparently Sandra Fluke only learned the original version of the song.

Marcola on March 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM

You have got to be kidding me? Have things gotten so bad in the schools that this is now normal?

sharrukin on March 8, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I’m so glad my school days are waaaaaaay behind me.

Bitter Clinger on March 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM

In Utopia, the rampant use of vodka is desirable, and cigarettes are irrelevant.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Well yeah, gotta save those poor folks from having their high risk premiums double. Gawd knows its not their fault they smoked (sarc).

Zaggs on March 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM

But pot’s ok!

Iblis on March 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Obama would find it useful to run for office against a hated minority. Ergo…

You wingnuts want all women pregnant and smoking non-filters \

kunegetikos on March 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

More work needs to be done to keep young Americans from using tobacco, including creating smoking bans and increasing taxes on tobacco products, the U.S. Surgeon General’s office said in a report released Thursday. …

Hmmm….nothing mentioned about parents getting involved with teenage smoking…

timberline on March 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Actually, smokers cause less of a strain on the healthcare system because they die earlier.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/health/05iht-obese.1.9748884.html?_r=2

It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.

“It was a small surprise,” said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, who led the study. “But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more.”

Tman on March 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Federal war on drugs smokes guns, anyone?

Archivarix on March 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I never had the slightest desire to touch the stuff — and can still sing word for word the anti-smoking song my elementary school music teacher taught us. (It was to the tune of Ado Annie’s “I’m just a girl who can’t say no,” and began, “I’m just a kid who’ll always say no. I won’t smoke or drink. Why should I follow those who will? I want to be able to think!)

This is funny on a few levels. They indoctrinate through music that espouses keeping the ability to think for yourself, and also of course, it brings to mind the Obama song.

Southernblogger on March 8, 2012 at 3:15 PM

I’m so glad my school days are waaaaaaay behind me.

Bitter Clinger on March 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM

You and me both!

sharrukin on March 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM

If the federal government hadn’t taken over health care or inserted itself into the health care industry at all, though, that wouldn’t be an issue. So, I ask again: Why is this a legitimate object of the federal government?

Because the federal government DID insert itself into the health care industry.

Jackalope on March 8, 2012 at 3:18 PM

My Country ‘Tis Of Thee; Sweet Land Of Slavery; Of Thee I Sing. Land Where My Fathers Died; Land Of The Pilgrims’ Pride; From Every Mountainside; Let Freedom Die!..

FlatFoot on March 8, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Kathleen Sebelius would probably say fewer smokers mean lower health care costs for the country — and that’s true.

Sebelius would not tell the truth about that, Ed.

The “journalists” to the Americans along with the rulers of the Americans have long repeated the opposite to the Americans, no? And the Americans believe what they are told.

The rational for the tax was to cover the “increased costs” of medical treatment when in fact total medical costs are lowered rather sharply. This doesn’t even include costs such as social “security,” which also drop.

kunegetikos on March 8, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Because all the taxes… all the regulations… all the bans… and all the propaganda have been SOOOOOOO effective thus far.

Brad on March 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Raise the tax by a trillion dollars a pack. Kids wont be able to afford them and you’d only need to sell a couple cartons to the evil 1-percenters to wipe out the national debt. Yay!

Bruce MacMahon on March 8, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I’m gonna go smoke a cigar in the USPS parking lot.

infidel4life on March 8, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I smoke so that the sick kids can get health insurance.. so please, leave. me. alone. If you don’t smoke, you hate sick children.

kringeesmom on March 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Ban freedom. There, it`s all done in one motion, let`s not muck about. :-P

ThePrez on March 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM

It’s a logical next step that any food deemed unhealthy is due to come under the control supervision of the state.

Blacksoda on March 8, 2012 at 3:24 PM

There are some things in life that are cast iron facts.

One of them is that we need much, much more regulation. Of everything everywhere at all times. We also need to work out how to regulate things that don’t even exist like Newt’s Moonbase.

CorporatePiggy on March 8, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I remember having to explain to my son that yes cigarettes are bad for you and no your grandparents are not doing drugs.

dmn1972 on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

“It was a small surprise,” said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, who led the study. “But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more.”

LOL. What a genius. Do you suppose this also applies to Social Security?

a capella on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Again, I ask: why is tobacco legal?

rickyricardo on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46669807/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/#.T1kUs8zpAXx

libfreeordie on March 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Totally agree with him whis is not the norm.

Southernblogger on March 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM

It’s a logical next step that any food deemed unhealthy is due to come under the control supervision of the state.

Blacksoda on March 8, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Michelle Obama is already working on that.

Bitter Clinger on March 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM

This all began as a well-intentioned effort to make people aware of the legitimate health risks associated with tobacco use, given the industry’s obfuscation of those risks. And while the feds have no constitutional authority to do that, it’s at least a reasonable objective.

But notice how the goalposts have moved. The mission is no longer to make people aware of health risks, and thereby allow them to make informed personal decisions; it’s about trying to “make our next generation tobacco-free.”

Thus demonstrating that intolerance and authoritarianism will always, always win out over whatever good intentions the good-government social engineers may have at the outset.

Centerfire on March 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I smoked cigarettes from the time I was 21 until I turned 39. They were killing me and I could feel it. I knew I would be dead in a few years if I didn’t quit them. They destroyed my health. After quitting I began having my first of many panic attacks and no matter how hard I try I cannot lose weight. I’m one of those “tough guys” who lifted weights, played football and never though cigarettes would harm me. I was too tough and too physically fit…205 pounds of solid muscle. Well, if you choose to smoke, one day it will be time to pay the piper, and there is no turning back the clock. Once the damage is done it is permanent. I can’t even go into a bar where smoking is slowed because my lungs immediately close off and I can’t breathe in. Yeah the government shouldn’t tell us what we can and can’t do, but today’s cigarettes are genetically engineered poison that are designed to make you into a cigarette smoking equivalent of a crack addict.

OxyCon on March 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Again, I ask: why is tobacco legal?

rickyricardo on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

So it can be taxed and bring in ever more revenue.
/Libs

Bitter Clinger on March 8, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Thank gosh I’ve switched to the electronic cig. Smoked it in airports, restaurants, taxis…100% fun, zero hassle. Fake is freedom!
:D

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on March 8, 2012 at 3:31 PM

How about a tax on condoms and birth control pills and fisting kits? I haven’t seen a good angry gay march in a long time.

Hening on March 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Remind us of your position on the legalization of marijuana would you?

libfreeordie on March 8, 2012 at 3:07 PM

The federal government, which has legitimate Constitutional powers regarding our national borders as well as interstate commerce, should continue to ban the trafficking of drugs across the border and/or across state lines.

The federal government does not have any Constitutional authority to ban the use of drugs which are produced and used within the confines of one state, and I oppose any such federal bans. However, I support all states banning production and use within their states.

Shump on March 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM

increased restrictions under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate tobacco as other ways to prevent adolescents and young adults from using tobacco products.

I dare them to ban menthols.

rw on March 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM

but today’s cigarettes are genetically engineered poison that are designed to make you into a cigarette smoking equivalent of a crack addict.

OxyCon on March 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Guess I must be beyond their “genetic engineering” skills then, huh? //rolleyes

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I smoked cigarettes from the time I was 21 until I turned 39. They were killing me and I could feel it. I knew I would be dead in a few years if I didn’t quit them. They destroyed my health. After quitting I began having my first of many panic attacks and no matter how hard I try I cannot lose weight. I’m one of those “tough guys” who lifted weights, played football and never though cigarettes would harm me. I was too tough and too physically fit…205 pounds of solid muscle. Well, if you choose to smoke, one day it will be time to pay the piper, and there is no turning back the clock. Once the damage is done it is permanent. I can’t even go into a bar where smoking is slowed because my lungs immediately close off and I can’t breathe in. Yeah the government shouldn’t tell us what we can and can’t do, but today’s cigarettes are genetically engineered poison that are designed to make you into a cigarette smoking equivalent of a crack addict.

OxyCon on March 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I honestly don’t know anyone gets started. I tried to inhale on a cigarette when I was a teen. Burned my lungs and I immediately started coughing like crazy. Never wanted to even try a second puff. I don’t see how people get started.

Bitter Clinger on March 8, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Once socialized medicine is fully implemented under ObamaCare there will be no aspect of your life that they can’t treat this way. You personnel choices are finished, now only Big Brother is allowed to say what you will do.

Axion on March 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Again, I ask: why is tobacco legal?

rickyricardo on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Because it helped build this country. Adults enjoy it. Have you ever noticed what caps the columns at the Capital. Tobacco leaf Corinthian is the style.

Bmore on March 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM

SMOKING is healthier than FASCISM.

Axion on March 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Again, I ask: why is tobacco legal?

rickyricardo on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Because we have freedom of choice. Don’t give me any cr@p like we should make heroin/pot/whatever legal. Tobacco does not cause reduced mental capacity and responsiveness, which is the point of illegal drugs. Based on your question we could ask:

Why are cars legal? They kill a lot of people.
Why is sugar legal? It’s bad for you
Why is red meat legal? It can cause cancer
Why are trees and plants legal? They produce CO2
Why is drinking water legal? It contains arsenic
Why is football legal? People can get injured

Trafalgar on March 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM

But I like a cigarette after the government gives me a good screwing.

Since kids can’t control their impulses maybe the cigarette-abstinence only education is not the best policy.

Mr Snuggle Bunny on March 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Right after I eat my monsterized In & Out triple patty burger, fries, and Strawberry shake, then sneak a few swigs of Jack Daniels to clean the palate, I am going to enjoy a nice relaxing after-meal cigarette. Then I’m going to smoke a big ‘ol fat doobie in the parking lot and get back to my U.S. Postal Service job.

Just kidding.

I don’t drink Jack Daniels.

FlatFoot on March 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I honestly don’t know anyone gets started. I tried to inhale on a cigarette when I was a teen. Burned my lungs and I immediately started coughing like crazy. Never wanted to even try a second puff. I don’t see how people get started.

Bitter Clinger on March 8, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Because its one of North America’s oldest traditions, predating even “teh white man”, and no independent-minded young person wants to be associated with the bedwetting losers who go around singing songs at their schools(see the South Park ep. on smoking – they nail it). This infantile patheticness worked on Tina apparently though, for shame. And then the effect is quite stimulating and “refreshing”, especially if you are a noob or only an occasional smoker.

I can’t understand someone who smokes 2 or 3 or 4 packs a day, its just a waste. But a pack or two a week, or chain smoking while having some drinks…nothing wrong with that.

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM

This all began as a well-intentioned effort to make people aware of the legitimate health risks associated with tobacco use, given the industry’s obfuscation of those risks.

Centerfire on March 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM

No, it didn’t. That was the pretense that was used. But this was always an effort to assert more governmental control over our lives, to justify increasing taxes, and to generally increase the power of the bureaucrats.

Shump on March 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM

They keep doing the ban and tax thing in Mass. Consequently we have eye popping tobacco and alcohol sales in NH. Cigar shops all over!

Also the tax revenue Mass expected from tobacco never materialized. Residents moved out of state, stopped smoking or buy in NH. The programs they slated for the tax money are uhhhh underfunded.

Its a mess for Mass. But hey! Keep ratcheting up those taxes.

dogsoldier on March 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM

oops on the trees and plants producing CO2, I meant to delete that before posting! Need to go smoke a cigarette and calm down!

Trafalgar on March 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Again, I ask: why is tobacco legal?

rickyricardo on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Why are french fries legal? Why is sugar legal?

Why don’t we all eat protein enriched mush, with a carefully formulated government approved blend of nutrients?

Axion on March 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

and no independent-minded young person wants to be associated with the bedwetting losers who go around singing songs at their schools…

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM

In other words, all the cool kids were doing it and in a desperate bid to be cool like your friends you did it as well. How daring and original.

sharrukin on March 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM

They are only tying to help us.

Axion on March 8, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Because we have freedom of choice. Don’t give me any cr@p like we should make heroin/pot/whatever legal. Tobacco does not cause reduced mental capacity and responsiveness, which is the point of illegal drugs. Based on your question we could ask:

Trafalgar on March 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM

You really have no idea what the “point” of “illegal drugs” is. They have all kinds of different effects, and meth and heroin are virtual opposites. By the way on meth your responsiveness will be vastly improved. It’ll cost you, but it will improve your responsiveness.

There are no recorded cases of people overdosing or smoking themselves to death on pot. You can’t say the same about alcohol or tobacco. Pot does not impair a person anything like alcohol does. There are actually a number of studies that it increases driving ability.

You are factually incorrect, and a hypocrite. So are all people who demonize “illegal drugs” while defending legal ones, and all those on the left who demonize legal drugs (like tobacco) while calling for legalization of illegal ones.

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I can’t understand someone who smokes 2 or 3 or 4 packs a day, its just a waste. But a pack or two a week, or chain smoking while having some drinks…nothing wrong with that.

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Hear, hear! I’m almost 60 years old, I smoke maybe half a dozen cigarettes a day and enjoy them. I also watch what I eat, run or hit the treadmill for an hour everyday, just had a physical and am in great shape. I’ll go home after work today, unwind and have a Manhattan and enjoy a couple of cigarettes. Try stopping me! Irony or ironies, I had prostate cancer a couple of years ago and they say that’s the only cancer that is absolutely not attributable to smoking!

Trafalgar on March 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I dare them to ban menthols.

rw on March 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM

LOL. I see what you did there.

a capella on March 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Seems to me the governments selectively tax certain vices. The taxation on tobacco is astronomic already. I live in CT, a carton of Marlboro’s is $89, when I leave the country and can get the exact same product for $11-$20 depending on location something is wrong. That means CT residents are paying $69 to $78 dollars in taxes alone for cigarettes. No intent to offend here but I often wonder how drinkers and obese people would react if they paid that tax rate for Jack Daniels or Ben and Jerrie’s. Frankly, I am pretty sure I speak for all smokers in saying I have no more desire to pay for the potential health costs associated with the obese persons heart attack or the alcoholics liver transplant than anyone else has to pay for a smokers potential health problems. Yet the tax rates are not even in the same ballpark….

Lcsulla on March 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

The only damn thing Congress knows how to do is crank up taxes. I’m sure the Surgeon General will get his wish very soon.

Axion on March 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

In other words, all the cool kids were doing it and in a desperate bid to be cool like your friends you did it as well. How daring and original.

sharrukin on March 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Not quite. It’s more like all the pathetic nerds are shouting about how eeevil it is and reminding their classmates that they’ll probably die if they smoke a cigarette. When you meet people like that its hard to do anything but the opposite of what they “advise”.

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

1%’ers hardest hit!

KOOLAID2 on March 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I life in a state where smoking is banned in “public” places (such as privately owned restaurants – go figure), as well as in the neighboring states. I’ve gotten used to seeing people smoking only outdoors whenever I go out anywhere.

But recently I went to a private club where the smoking ban does not apply. I’m a non-smoker, and I appreciate breathing clean air, but I have to say that it was rather refreshing to see people lighting up and enjoying their smokes out in the open.

The smell wasn’t particularly refreshing, but the feeling of freedom sure was.

UltimateBob on March 8, 2012 at 3:50 PM

More unresonable taxes on cigarettes? I smoke anywhere I feel like it. I smoke elevators, resturants, bars, office buildings, retail stores, hospitals, hotels, or anywhere I see a “No Smoking” sign and if I’m asked to put it out I will acutally put it out on the sign itself, putting a big burn in the middle of it. I try to smoke whenever I am in a big crowd of people. I seek out your poor, your hungry, your sick, your huddled masses yearning to breath free and fire up my tobacco.

I was once in a CVS and started smoking while I shopped. When I was told to put it out, I took 2 more huge drags and then left the store, leaving my basket full of stuff I intended to buy. I have never gotten a ticket, only asked to put it out. Usually by the time they get around to telling me to put it out I am almost finished anyhow. When I’m finished I just toss my cigarette on the ground because, for 30 cents a cigarette I expect curbside service from my oppressive government. I do this because my fellow Americans have decided that I should pay them for my habbit, that I should pay for their silly government programs that I never use, that I should get no respect from anybody. So the next time you smell that sweet, sweet smell of tobacco in your office, elevator, resturant or hospital, it is just me, protesting against unfair cigarette taxes. Liberals call this “civil disopediance” and if you don’t like it, call your representitives in government and demand a reduction in unfair taxes on tobacco today!

Dollayo on March 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Frankly its nobodies business but the users what they put in their body.

It is also not the government’s job on any level, local or federal to try and promote certain “desirable” behaviors by taxing the crap out of certain “bad” products.

The US was founded on the idea that government is not your mommy, its not there to tell you how to live or even to “guide” you in a “righteous” direction. It is there to prevent you from violating other peoples liberties and to stop them from violating yours. Anything more is an autocratic abuse of power. Full stop.

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Don’t lecture me on what drugs do to people. I was a big city police officer for my whole career. I’ve seen the results of what heroin, coke, crack, meth, PCP, etc. do to people and to the people around them. I’ve been to horrific traffic accidents where drivers were under the influence of pot and/or alcohol. My point was solely that you can maintain your mental acuity and reactions while smoking a cigarette, you can’t while under the influence of illegal drugs, or alcohol for that matter. Don’t read more into what I said than what I actually said, mkay?

Trafalgar on March 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I can’t see why anyone would smoke. What a repulsive, unpleasnant habit. I won’t be around it. I LOVE local ordinances that stop in in places of public accomodation, because I otherwise have to breath it, or get it all over me. It literally burns my skin. I turn red. Its painful.

Actually I know why people smoke. They start because it’s a way to be tough and “adult.” They stay after they know better because s. they are one of the unlucky ones who have a stronger dopamine response b. it relieves anxiety and aids concentration. c. they are a chick who is afraid of weight gain. Schizophrenics almost to a one smoke because it tends to settle uncomfortable positive symptoms, and anxiety and a racing brain. But even ordinary people who are more anxiety prone like it. It’s actually great for reducing signs of Crohns disease – implying some gut- level benefit at least among those with inflammation.

All that said, what has the federal government got to do with it?

SarahW on March 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Clearly all these kids need to be taken out back and sh0t at dawn. They are going to die horrible deaths anyway, now that they smoke, and think of all the money we could save on healthcare…

We can call them after birth abortions, which, when allowed for babies born with tragic birth defects, save the taxpayers millions of healthcare dollars.

And just in case…sarc/

Lily on March 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

A few years back I recall reading about a divorced woman who was threatened with losing custody of her children because she smoked while driving with her kids in the back seat. In that light, my parents ought have done prison time!
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on March 8, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Dollayo on March 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/000/324/1225906043098.jpg

You do have a point…

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Trafalgar on March 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I’m about a decade older than you and smoke about a pack a month. My only health issue is right atrial fib which started directly after a routine angiogram about 12 years ago during which my heart stopped and had to be restarted with electroshock. Turns out my coronary vesseels are clean, but I’ve had to take coumadin and some other stuff since then because of the fib. Since then, I’m not a big fan of casual intrusive medical testing.

a capella on March 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Meh, the smoking ban is selectively enforced anyway. Go into a vietnamese coffee shop anywhere in the South Bay area (SF)and virtually everyone is lighting up. Cops ignore it, city ignores it, everyone ignores it. It’s part of their culture you see.

NapaConservative on March 8, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I think we should ban U.S. Surgeon Generals as they are bad for our freedom

jmw on March 8, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Obama and the democrat war on the poor rolls on without so much as a yawn from the ignorant rank and file…

tom daschle concerned on March 8, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Dollayo on March 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

+100

Channeling the bastard child of Ayn Rand and Quellcrist Falconer today.

CorporatePiggy on March 8, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Kathleen Sebelius would probably say fewer smokers mean lower health care costs for the country

She also believes humans in general are a net cost to her utopia. She said the cost of “free” birth control would be covered by the fact new people are not brought into this world in the first place. Hey dummy, who is going to pay the future taxes? Margaret Sanger would be proud for this lady.

VengeanceIsMine on March 8, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Give me your cig, I’ll give you a condom–Obama Exchange Program.

hillsoftx on March 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Thread winner!

Torch on March 8, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I took up smoking in order to kick my gum-chewing habit.

Left Coast Right Mind on March 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s07e13-butt-out

Relevant to the topic and Tina’s own anecdote about her anti-smoking song.

Daikokuco on March 8, 2012 at 4:43 PM

hillsoftx on March 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM

But won’t you need the cig for after you use the condom..?

affenhauer on March 8, 2012 at 4:45 PM

The Government is creating quite a conundrum for themselves.

Less smokers, less tobacco tax revenue.

People live longer by not smoking (so the statistics say, and we know what Mark Twain said about stats )

Now we’ll have to pay mor for health care because the population at large will live longer.

Also, I have heard the #1 black market item in NY City is Cigarettes

Burgher on March 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Kathleen Sebelius would probably say fewer smokers mean lower health care costs for the country — and that’s true.

Sorry, no. That’s false.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199710093371506

“…in a population in which no one smoked the costs would be 7 percent higher among men and 4 percent higher among women than the costs in the current mixed population of smokers and nonsmokers.”

Smokers die earlier, the elderly cost a lot more in health insurance. the increased cost of some smoking related illnesses is more than offset the the reduction in years of health care costs for those smokers not reaching the “elderly” and more costly levels.

And once you throw social security into the mix… it’s clearly a net benefit. If the goal was to reduce government costs, they’d SUBSIDIZE cigarettes.

Obesity, same thing… overall costs are lower for obese. If you want to point the finger of blame at the highest health care cost group, you want fit, skinny, joggers who don’t smoke or drink… they’re the ones busting the budget (on average) because they live so darned long.

It’s like paying $1,000 per person for a test to find a one-in-a-million cancer that could have cost 5 million to treat if it weren’t found early.

They guy you found it for? He’s happy, and it saved him money… but you spent 1 billion dollars to save 5 million dollars.

Yes, having found a cured a cancer that otherwise could have killed the guy is nice; but lets not pretend we’ve saved money doing it.

gekkobear on March 8, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Give me your cig, I’ll give you a condom–Obama Exchange Program.

hillsoftx on March 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Butts for Slutts?

Left Coast Right Mind on March 8, 2012 at 5:04 PM

CorporatePiggy on March 8, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Ha, ha. I know, but to be perfectly honest, it’s actually very fun to do this. When I see a “No Smoking” sign it only make me want one, and like I said, I will! Often nobody says anything to me but sometimes someone will say “you can’t smoke in the elevator” or some such thing but I just smile and say, “oh, yeah, I forgot, sorry” and then take another big drag while I act like I’m looking for an ashtray, haha. Sometimes I’ll just stomp it out on the floor. It’s very funny and sometimes it’s hard to keep a straight face. I am always very nice about it, never complain to them but instead just act contrite while I flaunt their rules right in front of their faces. I have had people say “I’m allergic to smoke” to which I usually say, “wow, that’s unusual, you should see your doctor about that”. If I can I will make a crack about unfair taxes on cigarettes. I have had a few confrontations, but it is only because someone else gets mad and can’t control their anger. Ironically their blood pressure is rising from me smoking more than mine is from me smoking.

Dollayo on March 8, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Again, I ask: why is tobacco legal?

rickyricardo on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Because the government officials aren’t our parents, owners, or masters; and the goal of government isn’t to make everyone perfectly safe without any risk while controlling their lives and every individual choice.

Sure if the liberal goal of government were achieved and everyone were slaves/wards of the state while the state made every miniscule decision for everyone; then it would make sense to outlaw smoking, and anything else that might possibly be of any risk at all.

But gladly we haven’t been fully enslaved by the government yet.

I’m sorry if this state of affairs offends you; the liberals are doing their best to end rights, freedom, and liberty and push for slavery of the citizens as fast as they can… but this sort of thing takes time.

gekkobear on March 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Give me your cig, I’ll give you a condom–Obama Exchange Program.

hillsoftx on March 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM

What good is a condom if you can’t have a cigarette when you are finished using it?

Dollayo on March 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Ok, I’ve got guns, ammo, gold/silver bullion and alcohol stockpiled so now I need to add cigars to the list. Make a ton of money on black market once they finally have their dream of free and legal marijuana, but outlaw cigs and alcohol. Liberals are hypocrites on so many issues, but this one I find particularly amusing. They seem to be saying don’t smoke UNLESS it’s pot and don’t get high on alcohol, use dope. Libtards crack me up…then I want to do really bad things to them…

Doomsday on March 8, 2012 at 5:22 PM

spark public activism in reducing death and disease caused by tobacco use.

No way! You live longer and cost more if you live a clean life. Also, early detection and cure of cancer (like mine) means expensive tests for the rest of my long, happy life. Late detection and dying young would have been cheaper for my insurance company.

But I guess the IPAB will take care of this problem. :)

PattyJ on March 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Doomsday on March 8, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Toilet-paper man. Post-armageddon it’ll be like Gold.

slickwillie2001 on March 8, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Just a pinch between your cheek & gum.
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on March 8, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Less cigarette smoke? Sounds like a good plan to me.

Mr. Prodigy on March 8, 2012 at 5:52 PM

The courts have already weighed in on some of this nanny-state no smoking hysteria and delivered a well-deserved rebuke to The Great Uniter … http://www.ombudizen.com/2012/03/03/a-blow-for-freedom/

ombdz on March 8, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Kathleen Sebelius would probably say fewer smokers mean lower health care costs for the country — and that’s true.

Sorry, no. That’s false.

gekkobear on March 8, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Then she most certainly will say it. Since when does she need a statement to be true? It only has to fit the narrative.

Lily on March 8, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Again, I ask: why is tobacco legal?

rickyricardo on March 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

So it can be taxed and bring in ever more revenue.
/Libs

Bitter Clinger on March 8, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Well, it was legal in the past because Barack Obama smoked, but now that he’s quit, everyone else should, too, and the easiest way to do that would be to make it illegal.

/Libs v2.0

malclave on March 8, 2012 at 6:24 PM

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