Tag: Smoking

Your Body, Their Choices

One thing we need to dispense with is this curious notion that progressives are all about personal autonomy and choice. They aren’t. They’re that way about abortion. But they believe strongly that every other choice in life needs to be made for you by a benevolent government.


  • Progressives don’t think you should have a choice about healthcare, retirement or education. Your kids should go to the nearest school, you should get Obamacare (or better, single payer) and government-controlled Social Security is enough for the likes of you.
  • Progressives have backed off efforts to lower the drinking age. A number support bigger taxes on alcohol because they think it will cut consumption.
  • Progressives are mixed on the War on Drugs and many support keeping sex work illegal.
  • Numerous progressives favor a “soda tax” to cut consumption, praised Bloomberg for outlawing Big Gulps and want to use the food stamp program to control people’s appetites.

The latest is the long running War on Smoking. Not content with massive taxes, bans in public places, bans in private places and rules on smuggling that end up with street vendors selling “loosies” getting killed by cops, they now want to raise the age to buy cigarettes to 21 (because raising the drinking age worked so well). California is the second state to do this.

Now put aside the hilariously optimistic projections of how many lives this will save. Such projections have always turned out to be way too optimistic (see, e.g., lowering the speed limit to 55). Note the tone of the Vox piece: personal choice is irrelevant. What matters is the effect. If it means even one fewer person smoking, then eating away at the freedom of people old enough to fight in Iraq is worth it. There is no consideration, none whatsoever, to the idea of personal freedom … the seemingly quaint notion that if someone want to wreck their health, that’s their prerogative.

This is what progressivism has always been, since it slithered into existence a century ago: personal freedom doesn’t matter, all humans are assets and the laws should be written to maximize the utility of those assets to the state. Freedom and choice don’t matter; policy does. It’s why early progressivism favored things like alcohol prohibition, sex work prohibition and eugenics (seriously). They wanted to, as Mal Reynolds would say, make people better. And they still do.

I used to smoke but I don’t anymore. I regret ever having taken up the habit and I hope my children never do. But that should be their choice. An 18-year-old is an adult. They are more than capable of deciding whether or not to do something as stupid as smoking.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Much like a sub standard employee who every time the boss walks by he shuffles papers around on his desk to portray the mere appearance of industry, our government representatives just completed their orchestrated jihad on smokers, showing all the folks back home that they are johnny on the spot with doing the people’s business:

I know, it is their job to protect us from ourselves, that is what nanny states do.

I guess the old warning label of ,”Don’t smoke, it will kill you” was not clear enough. For those that either can’t read or can’t parse the meaning, pictures will certainly dumb the message down to even the stupidest of folks, and that is all they need, just the facts placed in front of them,now watch those smoker numbers disappear.

“President Obama is committed to protecting our nation’s children and the American people from the dangers of tobacco use. These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “President Obama wants to make tobacco-related death and disease part of the nation’s past, and not our future.”

Is anybody else bugged by this crass attempt at campaigning? Are not their motives pure enough without the injection of Obama, a chain smoker btw, into the mix? Is every new law, bill, or policy now going to have a preamble attached ,”President Obama wants to do this and we think it is a good idea”?

And how delusional, to think that pictures of dead bodies on the pack will somehow dissuade teens from lighting up, if anything it accentuates the risk making it more daring and appealing.

Smoking is a filthy habit, it is expensive and comes with a high risk of death and disease, duh, but can’t the same thing be said about being fat, drinking too much alcohol, parking your fat butt on the couch for prolonged periods, even being outdoors in the sun? I think the government should mandate that all fast food establishments have a life size photo of a 400lb naked woman on all means of entry. All beer bottles/cans must have a still smoldering picture of Ryan Dunn’s car crash (what a Jackass). Couches should also have warning labels, for our protection of course.

It’s not that I begrudge them for looking out for the folks, but don’t we have bigger fish to fry? And how much money did this whole thing cost? Maybe another congressional hearing into the use of steroids in baseball, anything to get attention off of this congress that can’t even manage producing a budget, put a warning label on that.