Banning tobacco use is almost a requirement for any socialized medecine program and is justified by the cost of socialized medecine. The costs of smoking are high and when the government is doling out the money for healthcare then people won't want to cough up the bucks for all the problems associated with smoking. When you are paying for someone else's healthcare then you have a vested interest in that person's behavior. Think about that for minute. If you are paying for Joe Blow's health insurance then whether he smokes or not becomes a real issue to you because you feel it in your wallet. Socialized medecine makes everyone's behavior everyone else's business.
From the article:
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that FDA regulation could reduce underage smoking by 11 percent over the next decade.
How much are we going to spend on this again? I'm glad you asked, because here is the answer:
Costs of the new program would be paid for through a fee imposed on tobacco companies.
Don't kid yourself. Tobacco companies won't pay a dime. Smokers will. If the government decides that the cost of smoking is $1 then they will take $2 from every smoker, spend $0.50 on the smoker's healthcare and spread the rest around to a lot of middle men. Any new tax is a good tax if you are part of the federal government.
Here is another thing that caught my eye:
The bill, said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown, "provides a tremendous opportunity to finally hold tobacco companies accountable and restrict efforts to addict more children and adults."
Advertising to kids is mainly a problem when parents aren't paying attention. How can a company "addict" an adult? Addict, as a verb. What do they do? Kidknap people, tie them up, and inject them with nicotine until they are hooked? Companies don't "addict" adults. Adults use products until they are addicted.
I don't smoke and would be fine if nobody ever started smoking again, but this is just another expansion of the government. When the price of tobacco gets high enough then there will be more crime associated with smuggling, etc. Of course that would justify an increase in law enforcement budgets across the nation. I guess if other agencies of the government are going to expand then why not the fda, right?
Another thing that chaps me about this is that these people claim to be so concerned about the costs of healthcare associated with smoking. Ok, fine, there are costs associated with that. People with insurance smoke and get diseases and cost the rest of us money. People without insurance smoke and get diseases and cost all taxpayers money. My big complaint is that I don't see many of these people complaining about the healthcare cost of illegals. Can someone point me to a comparison of the healthcare costs of smokers vs. illegals? That might be an interesting comparison. I would ask for numbers concerning drinking alcohol and eating junk food but there is already a "war" being waged against them that I'd just as soon forget.
I'll just quit rambling at this point.