Yes, the hysterical anti-smoking lobby fundamentalists are on the march again. In addition to raising taxes on cigarettes because they “care” (as opposed to lowering taxes on nicotine patches), Australia’s nanny state loving pets are now telling companies that tobacco packets with discernible brand names, images, and colors are sinful, and must be removed. Next stop: America!
On Thursday the successful Washington-based Australian blogger and editor, Tim Andrews, made the excellent case on Australia’s popular 2GB radio that this isn’t about people, but politicians taking away our freedoms today, and yours tomorrow. He has made equally sharp arguments before:
Make no mistake: this Bill, the latest attempt by the anti-tobacco lobby to strip away at the small pleasures enjoyed by smokers in a quest to ultimately make the pastime illegal, is not about providing people with information about tobacco. This is not about allowing people to make an informed decision. Rather, this is about the fact that there is a powerful lobby group in Australia who have a pathological hatred of tobacco products, and want to impose their opinion to stop everyone from smoking. It is the latest salvo by the High Priests of the Cult of Health, the brigade of paternalism, the parents of the nanny state, to ensure that every drop of individualism is gradually squeezed from our lives. That any behavior that is even mildly outside what they deem ‘acceptable’ is outlawed. There is, after all, no evidence this Bill will achieve its stated objections of reducing smoking. Rather, by stripping away trademarks – a distinctly personal way of self-identification by smokers – it is simply an attack on those they deem ‘different’.
Now I like making fun of cigarette defenders, as a cigar lover. But in all seriousness, Tim Andrews is spot on. Why? Because one can recognize that a two-pack-a-day habit (like eating two chocolate puddings) is not healthy, while respecting the rights of adults to make choices, especially in light of the fact that smokers pay health care taxes when they make purchases. It’s called reason.
Big people also don’t see why seasonal smokers (and I include myself here) should be punished because some adults choose to smoke more than they can handle. Will I also be slapped silly at McDonald’s because Michael Moore doesn’t know the meaning of the word no? And again, if anti-tobacco hysterics were serious about “saving” people they’d be in the business of promoting low taxes for anti-smoking products like nicotine patches.
Warning: The anti-smoking lobby doesn’t really care about your lungs or freedoms.
Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works have been posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). For more information see, Pizza Trays and Beer Bottles.