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Should Obama Sign Tobacco Bill?

By       Message John Jonik     Permalink
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21. (Editing out Bogie’s cig) This portends Constitutionally prohibited censorship. The arbitrary nature of the concerns about film depictions of "tobacco products", but not depictions of an endless miasma of weapons, maiming, and horrific killings, or about use of illegal drugs, or of rapes, thefts, kidnappings, property damage, racism, adultery, fraud, reckless vehicle use, and so on, is clear evidence of unsound and unjust law.

22. (Ads and kids, yet again) It may be "cigarette advertising" but, if a product contains no tobacco, its advertising cannot be said to be "tobacco advertising" despite the camouflaged tobacco-like nature of the product. Further, if a product was simply composed of tobacco, that would achieve goals of reduced consumption because of the rougher less-appealing taste, the lack of addiction-enhancing additives, elimination of all non-tobacco health threats, and the adequate natural levels of nicotine.

23. (More on ads and kids) This is an arbitrary concern again, noting no end of advertisements for harmful foods, violent and sexual entertainments, and so forth, which are directed to and/or commonly seen by children…not to mention glorification of careers in the military.

24. (Ads and kids seem to be a priority) Every state has laws forbidding sale of cigarettes to minors. Discussion of price hikes concerning those who cannot purchase the products anyway, is essentially moot. Price hikes inescapably negatively affect supposedly non-targeted adults who are legally permitted to smoke.
Further, excessive price and tax hikes can be tied directly to increases in crimes of theft, smuggling, and counterfeiting products. Also, consider that if one person quits smoking because price has doubled, say, and another person continues smoking at double the price, the same profits and "sin taxes" come in from only one pack of cigarettes. And, smoking is so appealing to many that they will forgo purchases of quality or sufficient foods or other necessities for themselves and children in order to afford smoking products. Even Napoleon said as much long ago.

25. ( Ads, ads, ads…) If advertising, and the warning labels, were required to disclose and address the actual nature of the products, and made a clear distinction between Tobacco, Adulterated Tobacco, and Fake Tobacco, that would have positive effects.

26. (Ads to be prohibited) This point is so general that it could prohibit truthful and educational advertising of the safest possible tobacco products---namely, those made with no pesticides, no chlorine content, no phosphate fertilizers, and no non-tobacco ingredients of any kind---save for the paper, which would be made from similarly organic tobacco or rice or the like.

27. (Ads ‘n’ Kids…again) In that this bill so callously ignores the child-harming pesticide chemicals, the dioxin-producing chlorine substances, the burn accelerants, and prosecution of those responsible, it is repulsive o see this repeated, feigned concern for young people.

28. (No graphics in ads, just text) If this "text" is permitted to refer to products as "tobacco products" when they may indeed be quite different Adulterated Tobacco Products, or Products Made With Fake Tobacco, that text would constitute deceit and fraud even more than would a picture of a tobacco leaf be on typical products.
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29. (It’s the “tobacco industry’s” fault) Not to weaken any indictments of the so-called---self-labeled---"tobacco industry", but it is the case that complicit government officials, all along, have known about, approved, ignored, failed to inform or warn about, failed to compensate anyone for, and have economically benefited from virtually everything the cigarette makers have done.
Government officials, by purposeful inaction, perhaps for the sake of coveted “sin” taxes, campaign funds, and personal investments, are the ultimate parties responsible for any health crisis. They intentionally, for monetary reasons, let go of the leash of a dog that bit, and killed, millions of people.

30. (Ad provisions etc., ok by First Amendment) By specifying “tobacco products”, this point serves to exclude from regulation products made with "tobacco substitute material". This is not about openly herbal cigarettes and the like, but about whatever brands may be designed in patented ways to "simulate" tobacco, including added nicotine extract, and which make no claims on packages about being made from tobacco or anything.  The idea of denying organic tobacco providers the right to truthfully say that the products are o organic, with all implications of being “reduced risk”, has not been tested by any courts, Supreme or otherwise.

31. Save the Children) No material has been introduced showing any "life-threatening health consequences associated with tobacco use"…if that is to be taken as “caused by” tobacco use. ”Associated with” is a useless, meaningless term. Bonnie and Clyde could be said to be “associated with” cars, or fashionable hats, for that matter.
The consequences are more accurately Caused By the pesticides and dioxins. None of the smoking products under study have been analyzed or defined for content. Industrially-poisoned tobacco cannot be considered identical or equivalent to plain tobacco. Concerns about "addiction" ring false. Government officials have for many decades allowed addiction-enhancing non-tobacco additives in order to encourage more smoking, more sales, and more regressive taxes. A few years back, ammonia was widely revealed to add to the addiction---but it remained, and remains, “legal”.

32. (Ad regulations not so restrictive) This is contradicted elsewhere in the legislation where claims or even suggestions that a product has "reduced risk" are severely restricted if not prohibited. Presumably that would apply even to products that are accurately labeled "pesticide free" or "chlorine- and dioxin-free" or "no burn accelerants added". We do not know if a manufacturer could label one of its products "contains pesticide residues", while making no statement either way on other products. Would silence on the matter constitute "suggesting" that another product is safer? Bad laws open themselves to such absurdities. Good laws do not.

33. (Dependence is a disease) Again, we do not know if it dependence on tobacco being discussed, or if it is dependence on products that may or may not contain tobacco and that are adulterated, with government approval, with any number of substances intended to increase dependence. In any case, it’s the effects of contents of typical cigarettes that constitute disease.
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34. ( Just Say No) Cessation of smoking highly-contaminated products would be a legitimate step towards safety. But cessation of all tobacco use may have unsafe effects including heightened stress, decreased alertness, sudden sleepiness (such as while driving), digestive problems, weight gain, risk of blood clotting, and increased symptoms of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. If these points are not considered, this finding creates new public health dangers, and it indicates again that this Food & Drug Administration is ignoring the drug characteristics of the very drug it is to regulate.

35. (Tobacco linked to Terrorism) "Illicit trade" is directly a consequence not of tobacco or even manufactured tobacco products but of excessive prices and taxes. By this bill's failure to forbid cigarette firms from passing the "user fee" costs onto its customers, the bill increases the value of the products for illegal traders. Their “stock” just soared. This bill seems designed to drastically escalate not only the problems mentioned, but also crimes of theft (of cigarettes and/or money to buy cigarettes), smuggling, and counterfeiting. A way to increase crimes in prisons, for instance, is to restrict or ban smoking. It is interesting how often we are told that natural plant products (poppies, marijuana, coca, etc.) are “linked to terrorism”. We rarely hear that said about diamonds, cash, gold, the U.S. gun industry, etc.

36.(Only Big Corporations need apply) These "rigorous criteria" to prove a product will benefit the public will effectively make it economically impossible for small cigarette firms to grow and market organic tobacco, even if that may be for Native American religious uses. On the other hand, this is an arbitrary requirement. Pharmaceutical firms face no “rigorous criteria” to prove their products will benefit the public. Indeed, pharms “test” their own products and routinely find them to be “safe” and “beneficial”…though all too many have been found to be quite deadly.

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Long time activist in areas relating to industrial toxics, media content and control, death penalty, Mumia Abu-Jamal, hemp prohibition, civil rights, insurance influence in public governing, religious influence in public governing, unsafe foods, (more...)

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