The Trump administration has much work to do and undo, some of which should concern regulations of tobacco. In 2009, Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed by then President Barack Obama, which gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory powers over tobacco products. The regulations that were promulgated at that time pertained to cigarettes. In recent years, the FDA has been threatening to impose regulations on cigars, pipe tobaccos, and e-cigarettes because anti-tobacco organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation had been lobbying the FDA with the rationale that young people should be discouraged from smoking pipes and cigars. The idea that young people are going to pay up to $25 a cigar is fiction.
Theodore J. King | All Articles
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Theodore J. King
Theodore J. King is the author of the book The War on Smokers and the Rise of the Nanny State, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books a Million. He has been a columnist for the conservative quarterly The Oklahoma Constitution newspaper since 2000.
On February 5th, the pharmacy chain CVS Caremark announced that as of October 1st it will no longer sell tobacco products. Just this month they announced they had ceased selling tobacco products a month early.
The great outdoors is the new frontier of the nanny state, as far as smoking is concerned. The habit is being banned nowadays in public parks, beaches, and university campuses. Supporters of these restrictions claim that they're in the name of public health, but it is really about control, and maybe about money too, a possibility we'll explore.
In November, voters in Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize marijuana.
On Tuesday, three of my friends emailed me about a Herman Cain ad that was on the Internet. In the ad, Mark Block, the Cain campaign chief of staff, makes his pitch for supporting the campaign and then takes a puff of a cigarette. The ad ends with Cain slowly smiling. Someone commented on YouTube that it was at once the worst political ad he had ever seen and the greatest political ad he had ever seen.
In 2003, Springfield, Missouri banned smoking in restaurants. But the mayor of Springfield, Jim O’Neal, wasn’t satisfied, and in the spring of 2010 he pushed the city council to ban smoking elsewhere. Some members of the city council thought the ban that he proposed went too far -- i.e., banning smoking from the American Legion halls, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) halls, and tobacco shops. So, O’Neal decided that rather than presenting the proposal to the city council, he’d present it directly to the people. The proposal appeared on the ballot in April of this year as Question 2:
Recently, Alan, a friend on my Facebook fan page for my book, The War on Smokers and the Rise of the Nanny State, asked me: “...what's your take on the report from the surgeon general, Thursday, that only one cigarette kills millions of people and causes global warming and makes kittens cry?” Well, my take on that is this: what the new, portly surgeon general, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, reported, if not as Alan described it, is also absurd, and she thinks people will believe it because she is, after all, a doctor and a government official. Her absurd report is this: even only brief exposure to secondhand smoke causes really bad health problems.
Recently, it was announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the Food and Drug Administration, which now regulates tobacco, will require all cigarette packages to carry scary warning labels depicting the evils of tobacco use, complete with gruesome photos of a cancerous lung, a man smoking a cigarette through a tracheotomy tube, and a corpse.
Now that the midterm elections are over, the political climate should begin to be more business-friendly than it has been in recent years because, beginning in January, there will be many new Republican governors and state legislators who should be more favorably disposed to individual rights and freedom than their Democrat predecessors were. Among the states that will have new Republican governors are Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin, all of which have draconian indoor smoking bans. These bans should be either repealed or revised, especially concerning bars, restaurants, and hotel rooms.