Beginning in the Clinton Admistration, the bastion of political
correctness (otherwise called fascism), false and bogus science was fabricated
for the purpose of making a case against the tobacco industry and smokers
in particular. For a period of ten years smokers have been the object of continuing
and escalating persecutions and even though the election of George W Bush
bodes well for many areas of the country, the 'in place' fascists are still
alive and well throughout the country. Colorado is a case in point.
Together will the current election, Colorado's voters passed a 40 cents
per pack tax increase on cigarettes. This in addition to the 300% increase
added on by the hidden tax passed off as a judgement against the tobacco
industry. Congress had no stomach for allowing a third of the population
to see their miscreance so the pretext of a law suit was fabricated. Colorado's
latest effort at persecution of a third of their population also ignored
the fact there were already other existing taxes in place.
Smoker's are the new minority. Unlike blacks, during the eras they were
persecuted, smokers aren't even allowed the luxury of a Jim Crow car. They
are banned from all forms of transportation, from airports, from 'public'
buildings and, in some states, denied the 'privilege' of working for a living
unless they conform to the dictatorial demands of the intolerants who managed
to pass laws against them. The intolerants, however, never look past the
implimentation of their hatreds and persecutions. Were they to do so, they'd
see that they are, in fact, increasing their own taxes because smokers aren't
taking it laying down.
We hear news that many airlines in the United States are at the point of
bankruptcy. Having denied so many the right to travel on their airplanes,
they've learned that the smokering third of the population don't 'have' to
fly - and they don't. Pilots and support workers have recently accepted cut
backs in their pay. Yet, the smoker will not board an airplane unless it is
absolutely necessary. They can drive cars.
Nor do they set foot in airports except to pick someone else up. Yet, while
there, they don't spend money with the businesses.
After all, why should a leper reward those who made him so?
In city wide jurisdictions who have banned smokers from privately held restaurants,
they soon find that smokers also can cook.
Sales tax revenues drop and, not long thereafter, the city father's are
proposing new taxes on the general populations rather than giving admittance
to the miscreance that created the revenue short fall in the first place.
In statewide jurisdictions where smokers are denied the right to work (in
doors), even in their own businesses, the flood of people leaving the state
speaks to the point. Were you to rent a U-Haul truck leaving California, for
example, you'd be paying a high rate. Yet, if you were taking the truck back
to California, you'd be getting the rental at about 15% of what it cost you
to leave the state. So great is the demand for people wanting out.
While the smoker can't stop the onslaught of mindless persecutions from
his fellows, there are things that can be done to offset those persecutions
and drive the bite right back into the pocketbooks of those who sought to
1. Don't Fly
2. Don't go into or patronize any business or public entity where you have
been denied entry.
3. Don't drive any more than you have to. With each gallon of gas that you
burn, you pay state and federal taxes 'AND' a sales tax on top of it.
4. Buy what you 'need' locally but buy what you want from out of 'state'
and, preferably, over the internet from a state other than your own. There
is no sales tax on internet purchases so you can save 5 to 10% of your purchase
price right there and, at the same time, deny sustanance to the fascists that
5. Create clubs and associations with other smokers. You are not lepers
nor are you difficient because of the intolerance of your fellows. Instead,
it is they who are of corrupted spirit.
6. Be aware that the American's with Disabilities Act defines any person
who is addicted to a legal substance as 'disabled'.
Clearly our fascist brothers are the sort that would also kick cripples.
This act, however, can be used to kick them back where they live - in their
7. Seek out of state sources for your cigarettes. Not all states have the
same persecutory policies. Buy in quantity and, if you can, over the internet.
8. 'The government made me do it' is not a good enough answer. The business
you don't patronize is the right answer.
By the time you impliment the changes in behavior (other than the desired
goal of forcing you to quit) you'll have more than made up for the increased
taxes levied against you. The government can't force you into an airplane
or a restaurant. Nor can they force you to patronize the willing participants
in their miscreance. We may find that our fascist kindred will become more
tolerant when they are the ones paying for their own miscreance.
The following news article provides an historical
perspective to no smoking activism and those
who first conceived it - The Nazis.
Are Cigarettes Doomed?
Some Americans are no doubt touched by Bill Clinton's concern for the health
of children. His press secretary even declared that it was now the President's
personal responsibility to prevent American youth from smoking.
But Clinton's ten-point program to prevent teenage smoking, designed by FDA
Czar-for-Life David Kessler, will fail like all previous attempts at government
nannyism. Worse yet, the program will backfire and retrace some of the progress
already made in tobacco consumption. There is also no doubt that all Americans
will be "touched" to pay for this program.
The main thrust of the program is to prevent teenagers from smoking so that
they won't grow into adult smokers. It sounds innocuous enough, almost sensible,
but Kessler's stated goal is to eliminate all smoking and all tobacco use.
He won't stop at the vending machine when his policy turns up "out of order."
He is quick to remind us that the FDA is not prohibiting tobacco use; that
would be--in his words--"unworkable." That means that he would like to prohibit
it but does not yet have permission to do so.
The Administration touts this policy initiative as a measure to help children
and reduce the cost of health care. Let us not forget that the Clintons wanted
to place a $2/pack tax on cigarettes to fund their health care reforms and
discourage the use of tobacco. In reality, this is but one of the socialist
ideas built into the Clintons' sidetracked nationalized health care agenda.
Can we be surprised? If government pays for health care, it eventually assumes
the right to control the health of its citizens. This agenda also includes
such possible policy initiatives as forced sterilization, increased use of
birth control and abortion, a euthanasia program, a national exercise program,
an enhanced anti-alcohol program, youth brainwashing to encourage children
to rat on their parents, sanctions on fat people, taxes on luxury goods,
controls on the environment, banning of dangerous sports, therapy for drug
Of course, things could be worse. As Robert N. Proctor recounts in Racial
Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis (Harvard University Press, 1988), Gerhard
Wagner--head of the Nazi socialized medical plan--like Kessler and other
anti-tobacco agitators today, was constantly complaining about people smoking.
In particular Wagner attacked the "boundless propaganda issued by nearly
every German magazine" encouraging people to smoke. His replacement, Leonardo
Conti, established the Bureau Against the Dangers of Alcohol and Tobacco.
Nazi health officials pointed out that personal health was now an integral
part of the German national interest, and that according to Nazi philosophy,
"the good of the whole comes before the good of the individual."
Despite all of the protests that they would not ban tobacco, the Nazis soon
began to ration cigarettes, close tobacco shops, force several types of citizens
to stop smoking, and abolish smoking in buses, trains, government buildings,
and public places.
Does that sound like the U.S. today? Higher excise taxes, required warning
labels, government-imposed bans in planes and government buildings, attacks
on advertisers, tobacco industry executives, and scientists.
The Nazis never reached their ultimate goal because military\economic collapse
came before tobacco supplies were exhausted. But here, we have the "Smoke
Free America 2000" program in place. And Kessler is backed by a newly vindicated
federal smoke police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF).
The Smoke Free America program will seek to use all voluntary means possible
to eliminate smoking in America by the year 2000. Only at that point will
more "convincing" means be applied to completely eradicate the problem. The
target deadline provides the haunting reminder that millenialism is still
with us and driving policy.
Ideology and philosophy aside, governmental attempts to stop smoking have
always failed. Several states passed cigarette prohibitions during the Progressive
Era that failed miserably, as did the more ruthless efforts of the Nazis.
Canada recently tried a massive antitobacco program that raised the price
of cigarettes to $5 a pack with absolutely no success or diminution in teenage
smoking. The programs now advocated by Clinton and Kessler have all been
tried and failed at the state and local levels; what makes them so sure that
they will now work at the national level?
Making cigarettes more difficult to get is not so much a hurdle for teenagers
as it is a challenge. Although widely supported by both Republicans and Democrats,
it certainly doesn't seem to be in the spirit of family values to have the
government, rather than parents, involved in this decision.
The battle between teenager and bureaucrat will come down to a matter of
enforcement. If enforcement is lax, teenagers will easily obtain cigarettes
and learn disrespect for law. If enforcement is draconian, teenagers will
have more difficulty in obtaining cigarettes and we will all lose civil liberties
in the process. In both cases, teenagers will get cigarettes and the foundations
of American society will be further eroded.
Kessler says that the government will do everything it can to raise the cost
of smoking until teenagers stop smoking. Let's see. Government has increased
the price of marijuana by 10,000%, but teenagers still buy it. In fact, as
the government increases the cost of tobacco, and makes it more difficult
to get, we can expect to see an increase in teenage use of marijuana and
other substitute products.
In response to predictable failure and frustration, the next steps will include
a drastic increase in the tobacco excise tax and direct FDA regulation of
tobacco as a drug. The tobacco excise tax route is particularly instructive
of the government's ability or lack thereof to solve social problems. Higher
excise taxes fall heavily on the poor and encourage people to smoke high
tar and filterless cigarettes. If excise taxes are high enough, people resort
to smuggling and the black market, as the Canadian experience clearly proves.
If the central government decides instead to allow the FDA to tax and regulate
tobacco as a drug, then we are but a short time from a full-blown tobacco
prohibition. Remember that narcotics prohibition and marijuana prohibition
were initiated as regulatory and taxation measures. Once in the bureaucratic
domain, however, these programs were quickly transmuted into outright prohibitions.
There is no doubt that this is exactly what Kessler wants, and exactly what
he would do, given the opportunity. Under his interpretation of his powers
and mandates, control of tobacco would mean the prohibition of its use because,
as he sees it, tobacco possesses no useful or beneficial properties. The
FDA and BATF would both gain considerably as a result.
Much progress has been made in the safe use of tobacco products. People forget
that people used to chew and spit tobacco on a grand scale. Public rooms
were filled with pipe and cigar smoke. But without any help or prodding by
government, the market responded with the ready-rolled cigarette, then filtered
cigarettes, then low and ultralow tar cigarettes. We've even got the smokeless
ashtray. The industry spent hundreds of millions of dollars to invent a tar-less
and smokeless cigarette. The government won't let them market it.
Economic progress also tends to result in less tobacco consumed. If government
were really interested in reducing smoking and promoting health, they wouldn't
interfere with the role of the family and self-responsibility.
One of the best keys to promoting health is what economists call time preference.
Mature people have a low time preference, a longer time horizon. They have
high rates of saving and capital accumulation and practice healthier lifestyles.
People with high time preference tend to live for the moment, spend more
than they earn, and engage in risky activities and unhealthy lifestyles.
Policies that promote free enterprise and individual responsibility have
the positive effect of reducing time preferences while government nannyism,
like the welfare state itself, increases time preference and exacerbates
the problems of irresponsibility.
Clinton's concern for "our children," or at least the ones his attorney general
isn't gassing, and Kessler's worry about our health, are but a smokescreen
for totalitarian political ambition. That's what's behind curbs on advertising,
bans on vending machines, and phony tobacco "education" campaigns.