"Scared Straight" and the Anti-Smoking Nazis

(See here) an MSN video where Matt Lauer discusses anti-smoking adds appearing in some portions of the US like New York state.

I do not oppose such adds. Adds like this enable a person to make an informed decision on whether to take up smoking or not. I also do not disagree with efforts to educate our young on the effects of smoking in our schools. I also think it is OK to restrict smoking in common public areas to protect non-smokers from second hand smoke.

What I object to are the efforts of those who are anti-smokers to become anti-smoking Nazis. To try to economically blackmail those who smoke into quitting by making it too expensive to smoke. (See here) an article appearing in the JPost where American anti-smoking "professionals" (Nazis) share tactics with Israeli anti-smoking "advocates" (Nazis) which include raising the expense of smoking in order to blackmail smokers into quitting. This article identifies that one of the stategies of the US Center for Disease Control is "raising taxes on products". The strategy of "hiking the price of tobacco products through taxes" has been effective. Why? Because it amounts to economic blackmail in making it to expensive for anyone but the well off to smoke!

There is no justification in raising taxes on smokers because of the costs to society of smoking. SMOKING SAVES SOCIETY MONEY, and that is even WITHOUT taking into account all the tobacco taxes the smoker pays. Tobacco taxes are not used to reimburse society for health costs of smokers, they are used to pay for law enforcement, roads, parks and everything else under the sun.

Why do we not attempt to tax out of existence other activities that really are expensive to society? If snow skiing and dirt bike riding are risks to our health, why do we not also throw burdensome taxes on them as well?

Adults in a free society who make the informed decision to smoke should have the FREEDOM to do so. Society is correct in protecting those who choose not to smoke from the effects of those who do. However raising taxes on tobacco products to absurd levels (like in New York state) amounts to coercion and persecution of the minority by the majority.


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