As a retail tobacconist I have paid half a dozen floor taxes and tax increases this year alone. The campaign against all smokers is in full effect around the globe while smoking bans (both indoor and outdoor), de-normalization, perpetual and unreasonable tax increases, continue to usurp our freedoms. But the hallmark of 2009 is the prohibitions that have been put into place by the FDA (banning flavored cigarettes) and now NYC banning ALL flavored tobacco; again, under the intellectually bankrupt logic that these products are ‘attractive to children’ – even though it is illegal to sell these products to children.
Today Dr. Michael Siegel, a famous anti-smoking advocate, wrote in his blog “the anti-smoking movement is very much a religious-like one and that it is based largely on ideology rather than science.” Now we should be able to see things clearly; smokerism and the relentless taxation is not based on science, but rather bigotry. And smokers, along with other freedom loving people, have been saying for years that the health police/nanny state will come after soda pop, obese people, and alcohol soon enough. Well, soon enough is already here!!! Taxes and bans on fatty foods are becoming prevalent while European cities have started to ban happy hours!
Behavior and pleasure control has never been about health, because happiness cannot be measured in years or numbers. As a society we must accept that cigarette smoking is the absolute worst personal freedom and then move on. It’s OK; there will always be a WORST Freedom. But, the key to living in free and democratic societies is to preserve freedoms, not constantly whittle away at them. Today, smokers pay more than their fair share of the ’societal’ (health care) costs associated with smoking; they are not a burden to non-smokers. So it must be time to leave them alone. Otherwise, our government is just punishing people who they do not like and that is reprehensible. At this point, it will be up to non-smokers to stand up and say “Enough Is Enough”. Even the worst freedom is OK, now lets get on with our lives!
“You can only be free if I am free.”
- Clarence Darrow