“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.”
–Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Today, Big Brother…I mean the federal government, “unveiled the nine graphic health warnings required to appear on every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States and in every cigarette advertisement.”
These labels are required under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which President Obama signed into law on June 22, 2009.
As justification for this colossal exercise in “duh”, the FDA’s press release claims that tobacco use is responsible for 443,000 deaths each year and costs the economy nearly $200 billion each year in medical costs and lost productivity.
While these figures are probably true, how is pasting nine ridiculous labels on cigarettes going to deter Americans from smoking? Especially when every American who knows how to tie his shoes is aware that smoking cigarettes kills.
Frankly, if you need a label to remind you of this fact, you are a cretin.
Here’s my solution:
If the government wants people to quit smoking, it should increase taxes on cigarettes. That way, if they still willfully engage in an activity they know will ultimately kill them, they can pay extra for the pleasure.
What’s next, labeling firearms with “front toward enemy,” including “naked pictures of morbidly obese people” on donut boxes, and installing a friendly voice in all automobiles that repeats, “automobiles kill,” every 3 minutes?
Now that President Obama has “scary” labels to remind him that smoking kills, I wonder if it will be enough to help him kick his own nicotine habit.
Somehow I doubt it.
Your government at work…