June 23, 2011
Have you seen the new graphics (http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/CigaretteWarningLabels/default.htm) soon to appear on a cigarette pack at a store near you? They are pretty weak, if you ask me! While I think doing anything to curb smoking is worthwhile, I think these pictures miss the mark.
In today’s society, movies depict mayhem, violence, and gore. Video games allow the combatants to blow each other up, severing body parts in vivid 3D. The 5 o’clock news reports all manners of violent deaths. I really think our nation is being desensitized by all the background noise. I also think the graphics on a pack of cigarettes will do little to stop smokers from slowly killing themselves.
Why are cigarettes legal? Everyone knows they are harmful. I have never seen any evidence of a single benefit attributed to smoking. Are they legal because they are a significant source of revenue for the government? Doesn’t the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and COPD cost money? I don’t get it!
Our government wants to discourage smoking by placing gruesome graphics on a pack of cigarettes but still refuses to ban their sales. They collect taxes, than fund medical treatment for smoking-induced illnesses from the taxes and our hard earned money. Is it any wonder the government is broke?
If the government thinks gory images will reduce smoking, I suggest the following:
- Ban sales of cigarettes in all locations other than funeral homes.
- Increase the taxes on cigarettes to cover the full expense of diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and COPD. I figure $30 per pack should do.
- Require smokers to attend “A Day with the Pathologist” events where they witness autopsies on cadavers with lung disease.
- Require smokers to view videos of open heart surgery and witness the result of the coronary artery disease caused by their habit.
- Require parents who smoke to take safe smoking classes designed to educate them on the risks of second and third hand smoke. Have the Department of Children and Family Services regularly inspect smoker’s homes for signs of “child abuse by exposure to toxic fumes.”
Sound radical? It is! Something has to be done. Big Brother is insistent about protecting us from so many things. Why isn’t Big Brother serious about protecting us from the toxic effects of smoking? That is the ten million dollar question!