June 12, 2009

Regulation of cigarettes is here. Who knows, maybe pot is next?

When you consider the power of the tobacco lobby, this is actually quite shocking.

Something has changed. Big-time. Two of my big pet issues - MPG standards and cigarette regulation - are now here. Finally. 30 years too late.

But let's go.

* I want cigarette warning labels that will shock you.

* I want all cigarette marketing to be banned. All of it.

* I want the packaging to be black and white text only.

* And yet I want the product to be sold freely and legally, so that adults stupid enough or suicidal enough can buy it.

Regulate it. Ban the marketing. Collect the taxes. Avoid a black market. And let idiots buy it.

The way it should have been all along.

And the way marijuana should be treated today.

Congress sends Obama bill to regulate tobacco

ongress sent legislation to the White House Friday granting the federal government unprecedented authority to regulate and restrict cigarettes, the single largest cause of preventable death.

President Barack Obama quickly expressed his support, appearing in the Rose Garden almost immediately after the House gave final approval to the bill giving the Food and Drug Administration control over tobacco production, marketing and sales.


WizardofIB said...

I am for the regulation and taxes, but doesn't the black and white packaging sound a little too communist? Why go through such extremes? If Joey Six Pack wants a Marlboro pack, why waste time writing all the warnings and labels. If the taxation is not a deterrent why would the lack of a kick-butt red and white package change his mind?

I think we're drifting into the wall here Keith.

JaneZ said...

OT but is breaking news about the Orange One.

Angelo Mozilo and His 300 Million Slapstick Foils
Elmer Fudd Nation



....Tuesday it was reported that Mozilo, the guy who destroyed millions of Americans' lives and now faces fraud charges, is making American taxpayers—his victims—pay for his legal defense. Yup, Bank of America, which only exists thanks to tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, is using YOUR MONEY to defend Angelo Mozilo against YOU, the victim.

Elmer Fudd Nation. Just too perfect.

Back to cigarettes.

Weeding is Fundamental said...

More people die annually from the effects of abuse of tobacco and alcohol than from abuse of marijuana.


Joe Camel said...

Will this pass Constitutional (what's left of it) muster?

Weiner said...

I don't understand why you would want cigarettes or marijuana taxed. What is the thought process that says Government having more money = good?

There are already sales taxes and corporate income taxes - shouldn't that be enough for the government to make from marijuana sales?

keith said...

I want drugs (including cigs) taxed and 100% of those revenues by law dedicated to education

The problem isn't the supply. It's the demand. And to fight demand, you need funding.

But you don't want to tax the products so high that it creates any kind of black market. So it's a balance.

uncle cracker said...

I miss joe camel.I remember collecting points to buy cool stuff from them.The more you smoke the more points you get.I really miss those days.

Anonymous said...

Keith, ANY tax creates a black market. Any possible reduction in the price people pay is opportunity for criminals.

I like the thing about labels that will shock you. I have often thought they should put posters of car wrecks involving decapitation in liquor stores.

IMO today's media has people too desensitized. When I was a kid I watched the mannequin's tissue paper lungs get brown. Now you couldn't light a cigarette inside a school for the demonstration, but it wouldn't matter because it wouldn't shock anyone. The kids will go home and rip the lungs out of a virtual opponent in a video game.

keith said...

Tax Marlboros $2 a pack.

Good luck getting Marlboros for less than that on the black market. Fake ones, sure. But not the real ones.

That said, what I see here in Europe is most people rolling their own, since the branded cigs are so taxed and so expensive.

But the key is to raise funds via taxing the product that then get plowed back into lowering demand for the product in the first place

The current system has failed. Miserably. Pot and other drugs included.

Time for a radical re-think

And that time is here.

Anonymous said...


Gimmie Cheese.

Mommy goberment said...

More people suffer from cigarette regulation then from smoking cigarettes.

Master of puppets said...

Breaking news:
Recent scientific studies have proven that smoking Cigarettes is beneficial to *Sashers vitality.

* Study only included senior Sashers with a chronic understanding that ‘both parties are controlled’ by Gonzo’s enemies and have links to internet sites that prove it.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Those are some statements.

I guess in your world there are no concepts of personal freedom and/or personal responsibility.

What say we apply a $100.00 per pint tax upon your beloved Guinness? What else do you enjoy? Let's tax those things and use the proceeds to educate other people's kids. And, what the F does education have to do with tobacco? Why the F should kids get the money - any money shoudl go to assist tobacco users - it's their F'ing money for Christ's sake.

Seriously, what the F has happened to you? So, it's ok to persecute another group that you do not belong to? And, if it is not persecution, what the F is it?


keith said...

Products that cause death should be regulated by the state.

You have a problem with that?

Then you have a problem with the concept of government.

But hey, you're right. Let's let any drug on the market, with no regulation. Who cares if it kills people?

Lets let food be sold in grocery stores with rat poison in it.

Let's let bottled water contain 10% urine.

Government has a role to play. Protect, especially the kids, yet let idiots kill themselves if they want to - knowing the full facts.

Libertarian government doesn't mean anarchy.

gutless and lazy said...

Commercial sale of cigerettes for profits should be banned. No product that lethal should be allowed for sales. In a civilized society that is.

Want to smoke still? Fine. Grow your own. Roll your own.

But as a commercial product for profit, a product that kills? Man, that's evil.

And any govt that KNOWS that the product is mass killer, and STILL allows it, just for TAXES, is PURE EVIL GOV'T.

Case closed.

Anonymous said...

how about those who want to smoke deal directly with the tobacco farmer, not chemical manufacturers.

non-smokers are more ignorant than anything in this country.

Oh ya I forgot, Columbus discvered a nation of cancer victims.

Wise up.

Anonymous said...

That is bullshit!!!

Your cheering because you hate tobacco, but this is a sad sad day for America. The government is out of control. I suppose they'll tell me now when I can sleep with my wife.

Never thought I'd say this, but I guess it's time for another revolution!

-Silly Monkey

Randy said...


You have lost it.

Leave the Eurotard continent before it is too late.

Were to begin?

I am responsible for my health and my life.

It is a natural crime for any individual or group to interfere with this basic right!

Anonymous said...

Here in California the voters passed prop 10 to tax cigs for pre-school education. People soon learned they could game the program for things like families learning how to camp. Now there is a steady drum beat to tax products that cause obesity if overused. All of this is a slippery slope. First of all, taxing a target group (smokers) could arguably be said to be a bill of attainder, which is specifically recognized as being unconstitutional. Secondly, at what point do you stop trying to protect the public from unhealthful behavior?

Anonymous said...


But I must agree with you--SHOCKING that the government would actually try to REGULATE one of the most MASSIVELY FATAL products on the market, and actually try to protect consumers and children. SHOCKING!

Anonymous said...

You forgot a very IMPORTANT change that should be done immediately--

MAKE ALL SMOKING CESSATION PRODUCTS AND TREATMENTS ABSOLUTELY FREE for the taking, paid for by the government through cigarette taxes.

I mean anything--patches, gums, hypnosis, everything.

Make smoking just as rare--and just as stigmatized--as, oh, I don't know, extreme boy piercing.

Anonymous said...

I like how they say "legalize drugs", as if drugs weren't already legal. Like nicotine. Like alchohol. Like caffeine. Like food additives. Like sugar. All of which are addictive drugs. All legal.

I agree with Keith. Legalize the rest of the popular drugs. Tax them and license the dealers. Regulate the sales. It's a win-win situation. But maybe that's way too logical for the crazy right wingers who are holier than hell but do love their Wild Turkey on a Sattidy night! And who's fooling whom? Marijuana is the biggest cash crop in the Bible Belt.

Markus Arelius said...

Look, I'm OK with people partaking in the space cakes, doobage and wacky tabacky all they want. Have at it.

But please, let's just make sure the train operators and bus drivers and airline pilots are distracted from this. Let's give them free hookers or something. Anything!

I just don't want them driving and stoned.

We'd all be hours late on arrival (assuming we arrive at all or in one piece).

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world, they would have made cigarettes illegal as soon as they were found to cause cancer.
A still smoke, and despise it.
Have tried to quit many times.
If they were illegal, would just QUIT and not bother with black market anything.
Sometimes, you just have to take something away from people. Period.
But, everywhere I go, there they are, and am paying a fortune for each pack now.
Hang my head in shame every time I buy a pack.

Anonymous said...

More people die every year from obesity.

We also need a "fat" tax.

$.05 per gram should be sufficient.

Markus Arelius said...

Nice shot of Glenn Back smiling in the background. Good one.

Anonymous said...

It's bad enough sucking nasty second-hand tobacco smoke. It gives me an instant headache. I often have to get up and move when sitting in a public place to avoid smoke. And then move again.

Can you imagine having to avoid second-hand pot headaches with potheads everywhere? Damn. Please no. No one has the right to inflict that on children and innocent bystanders.

Anonymous said...

Hey, the education lottery is working out real well here in North Carolina. They keep taking the money for other things. Also, they already tax about $2.00/pack. Cigarettes are over $5.00/pack already.

I do have a problem with government.

Ryan M said...

Keith, we have most of these things in canada already. A pack of smokes costs around $10. By law half the package must be a big ugly label that says 'smoking causes cancer' with pictures

Miss Goldbug said...

Why more taxes? The government and states don't responsibly use the money they already get from us.

I say let the senators, congressmen take a pay, benefit and pension cut. Maybe then they will learn how to manage taxpayer funds responsibly.

Miss Goldbug said...

Moderation is key. Eating healthy and exercise is a must. Having good genes helps.

I dont want to be taxed more because I socially smoke and drink.

Why dont we then tax gambling as well? Where does taxing stop?

Make government accountable. They are getting more than enough money from all of us to make ends meet. The people can't control all the money they waste.

Anonymous said...

What's odd with this anti smokers crap is that people just won't look into numbers. I don't remember clearly, but I did the math 2 or 3 years ago.
Statisticaly, there's a 50% chance you'll get a cancer. 33% you'll get two.
IF you get a cancer, there's about 50% chance it will be digetion related. Second would be testicle or breast cancer depending on which ones you've got. And then only comes lumb cancer.
Of course all lumb cancer aren't caused by cigarettes. Needless to say passive smoking has about the same effect as breathing kerosene in any decent town.

So yeah, smoking is bad for you, ut it seems like what you eat is even worse.

And by the way, Life will kill you.

Lost Cause said...

Wow. Right on top of things, the New York Times finally discovers the credit bubble.

The Great Unwinding

Published: June 11, 2009

This is a joke, right?

JAWS said...

Everybody in Las Vegas smokes.
When I moved here 3 years ago, I could not stand it.......!
Still can't.
My friends smoke, all of them.
Like it's no bid deal. Like it's normal. What are they thinking?
After a couple hours with my friends, I need a shower. I go home after Happy Hour and take a shower.

Anonymous said...

I worked extensively studying tobacco companies and their internal documents. What's in there is mind blowing. But three points germane to the current topic, that most people don't know (look it up-- easy to verify):

1. The tobacco companies were way ahead of the game already in 1906 when the FDA was formed. The FDA had jurisdiction over everything listed in the "US Pharmacopeia." Nicotine, a drug, was listed in the 1890 edition. The tobacco barons cleverly lobbied to get nicotine removed from the book in 1905-- one year before the FDA was established. They pre-empted legitimate jurisdiction.

2. The vast majority of adult smokers do not start as adults. The typical starting age for lifelong smokers (addicts) is about 14. Conveniently, (because of developing brain chemistry) the younger you start, the more addicted you'll ultimately be.

3. Of all the warning labels that were added to cigarette packs in 1984, only one was shot down in Congress (thanks tobacco lobby)-- a label that warned smoking was addictive. It's the only warning label a teenager MIGHT give a rats ass about. Warnings about emphysema, pregnancy, heart disease, etc, don't carry much immediacy when you're 14.

The tobacco companies are geniuses at anticipating and planning for attacks on their industry. They're phenomenal managers of public perception. I never believed in conspiracy theories till I read their internal documents. What these guys did, and when they did it, is horrifying and impressive.

Anonymous said...

regulation of your carbon emissions is next. there will be green shirts on patrol to report violators. your garbage will be searched for items that should be be thrown away (see San Frans new fine for throwing away food scraps).

Anonymous said...

keith said...
Products that cause death should be regulated by the state.

Num-nuts, a baseball bat can cause death, should it be regulated? A pencil can cause death, should it be regulated? My fist can cause death; I suppose I too should be regulated. What you meant to say products consumed by people should be regulated... Ahhh, it’s called the FDA and if you're not aware of this (and I don't suppose American Idol tells people this), but the government (the FDA) allows certain traces of mouse and rat faeces and urine in your food, as well as insect parts (roaches in particular). Its considered tolerable levels, because whatever you do, you can't stop the varmints. What's tolerable..., ask you government what they think is appropriate for you.

I really can't understand some of the comments today about this product. Smoking is bad, it cause Cancer, it not just bad for you, but its also bad for those around you. It’s why I quit years ago when my son was born. But, why in God's name do you think that allows the government to decide if they can advertise or not. Or how they can package their products. Or anything for that matter... Now if they packaged their products and/or advertised their products to be safe, or something that they’re not (e.g. false advertisement), then I'd be all for some harsh punishments. And that was the case a few years ago... But, cigarette companies have come a long way after losing their law-suites. We now have anti-cigarette commercials. Cigarettes are no longer glamorized on TV. At least I don't think they are... Their packaging however, offense you think it is because you think the colors used is done intentionally to attract kids attract kids is without merit. Let's make Coke and Pepsi without color too. The cigarette companies have a right to exist. They sell a product, however flawed you think it is, to people who wish to purchase it. They as companies have a right to distinguish themselves with a brand name. Have you never taken a Marketing course in college?

The government has no business telling a company (regardless of what you think of it) how to conduct business. If they're not doing anything illegal, they have no right to intervene.

And there is quite a big difference between putting rat poison in food and selling cigarettes. Cigarettes will kill you over time and help you develop Cancer faster, but rat poison will kill you right away (even in small doses).

"Give me liberty or give me death". 2 point if you can tell me who said it. It was an important person in history...

-Silly Monkey

Anonymous said...

I'll 2nd that WOW. Those are some statements.

Believe what you want but those are not the statements of a Libertarian. At the very least you should know what label to attach to your beliefs.

Patrick Henry said...

"Give me liberty or give me death".

And if you have the liberty to smoke, you can have both!

Anonymous said...

i love the episode of house where he sprescribes cigarettes to a guy with some digestion problems. the says "wait a minute...i thought cigarettes could kill you." house repsonds with a confused look on his face "ummm...all the drugs i prescribe to people can kill them...so what's your point.?"

Anonymous said...

I find it extremely odd how much tobacco has been demonized over the past 25 years. In particular this bizarre obsession with second-hand smoking. Breathing the polluted air in the city is worse for me than accidentally inhaling a bit of smoke from some stranger's cigarette.

But it starts here and never ends. Sin taxes will grow exponentially. Next sin up for grabs is obesity. In NYC there's a push for taxing sugary soft drinks because they cause obesity. Interesting that sugar is blamed instead of the fat pigs who drink gallons of soda a day.

There is no longer a concept of personal responsibility in this country. Ludicrous.

Anonymous said...


Singular said...

Prohibition doesn't work on a product that the public has used regularly before prohibition. So prohibition will work for say, heroin, as the public in general did not use that extensively. Or metamphetamines for instance. But with alcohol it is a different story.

So the legalization argument for marijuana, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines does not work and the comparison with the prohibition of alcohol back in the last century is not an apt one.

Singular said...

The same people who want legalization of pot and drugs are usually the same people who want socialized medicine.

These people always want others to pay for the consequences of their deeds. This is the problem with the liberals' views on drug use.

They want their cake and eat it too. Hey, it's OK if people take metamphetamine - it's their body! they say. They entirely ignore the fact that the taxpayer picks up the tab for ruined lives, the health care costs, the welfare costs, the accidents, the crimes etc ....

So what happens is the taxpayer becomes a slave to these people. It is the reverse of what it should be. And this has been America's history for the 60 years at least. The responsible people have become the slaves. The ones who are not have become their masters, the people who live off the work of these slaves. And people wonder why America is going down?

Anonymous said...


Found this on web. My friend with lung cancer going to go there.
Will probably stop his funding if actually works, so she has to go before it's called snake oil.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my friend with lung cancer paying $100 per pill for anti-nausea drug. Party down Phizer.
More cancer, more money. Period.

Anonymous said...

"Breathing the polluted air in the city is worse for me than accidentally inhaling a bit of smoke from some stranger's cigarette."

Please cite your peer-reviewed source for this claim.

Last I checked, the only ones saying this were the tobacco companies-- and they gave it up in about 1984. You're kinda behind the times on their propaganda. The counter-argument du jour is about personal freedom and/or economic consequences to businesses that enact nonsmoking policies.

If you're going to mindlessly repeat propaganda, at least keep it current.


borkafatty aka the pig said...

Isn't fascism wonderful?