Day 274 – Flavored Cigarette Ban

October 1, 2009

Apparently the government decided to cast its oppressive shadow over more of America and ban flavored cigarettes.

I don’t smoke, so it took me a week and a half to hear about this. This ban is garbage. I have a feeling that the FDA is just getting started with its regulations. Since a lot of people have a negative view of smoking, this was probably pretty easy to push through Congress. The oppressors legislators probably gave speeches about how smoking is ruining the health of Americans and how we need to do something about the number of young people starting to smoke.

I venture to say that the ban has very little to do with trying to stop kids from smoking and almost everything to do with finding an excuse to regulate the tobacco industry. I asked some of my smoker friends if they started smoking flavored cigarettes, or if they knew anyone who did. None of them started with flavored cigarettes or knew anyone who did. Most of them have tried cloves, but thought they were gross. Granted, this is a small sample, but I think this might hold for a lot of the youth in America. Furthermore, flavored cigarettes are more expensive, which is a huge drawback for young smokers. Think of what kind of beer young people primarily drink – Natural Light. Why? It is dirt cheap. For the most part, young smokers are not going to routinely buy more expensive flavored cigarettes. They are going to buy the cheap stuff.

Also, if the regulators really thought that flavored tobacco is what lures young people to smoke, why is every kind of flavored tobacco besides cigarettes untouched? I know a number of people who started smoking different kinds of cheap cigars (Black & Milds), then turned to regular cigarettes.

Again, just so I am clear, I don’t smoke, and I don’t think other people should smoke. That said, I do NOT want to use the government in any way to force people to stop. The government reaching out its oppressive hands and regulating industries does far more harm than possible good, even in this situation.

Here is what I predict will happen:

There won’t be a statistically significant change in the number of young people who start smoking.

–When the FDA figures this out, it will roll out more regulations under the guise of “protecting” America’s youth.

Smokers of flavored cigarettes will switch over to flavored cigars or flavored pipe tobacco, or roll their own cigarettes, if the flavor is what they are really after.

–With the increased usage of other types of flavored tobacco, more regulations will come.

Since the The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act is a blanket regulation that leaves the possibility open of fully regulating the tobacco industry, I predict that we will see more and more tobacco regulations coming in the next two years. (I say two years because I think the government is inefficient and it will take them a little while to get around to it, luckily.)

Do you think I am overreacting? It is just a little ban for the common good, right? Wrong. The door of regulation is now wide open. In the last year, Congress managed to move its way from regulating the financial sector to the auto industry, and now they gave the FDA the right-of-way to even more closely regulate what Americans consume.

Americans, hold on to your freedoms while you can. I fear that it won’t be long before most of them are gone.