Tobacco is legal.
Whatever you think of tobacco, it’s legal. Whatever you think of people’s choices to partake of tobacco, it’s their choice. (Full disclosure – I enjoy a good cigar at regular intervals.) And it is those people’s responsibility to accept any consequences of that decision.
Which makes the New York City Council’s attempts to sin-tax tobacco out of existence all the more ridiculous. John Stossel reports; excerpt:
Politicians want you to spend more for tobacco.
They decided this after anti-smoking crusader Dr. Kurt Ribisl told the Centers for Disease Control, “Higher prices will deter children from smoking.”
A pit of socialist micromanagers called the New York City Council quickly embraced the idea. “It’s also being considered very seriously in a number of jurisdictions in California,” Ribisl told me.
When health totalitarians make suggestions, leftist politicians jump.
Ribisl also told the CDC, “Very cheap (tobacco) products should no longer be available.” So for my YouTube video this week, I asked him, “Why do you get to decide?!”
“No, I’m not deciding,” he insisted. “I’m a person who studies these policies. I’ll let the policymakers decide.”
OK, I sighed, “Why do the politicians get to decide?”
“Cigarettes are the most lethal product ever introduced,” he replied.
That may be true, although few people realize that half the people who smoke do not die from tobacco-related illness.
Fatty foods, swimming pools and cars also kill lots of people. Maybe the health police will raise their prices next.
When the hell did New York become every resident’s nagging granny? When the hell did it become the responsibility of the New York City Council to protect people from the consequences of their own decisions?
We can always give these idiot pols the benefit of the doubt and assume (yes, I know what that does, but it’s OK, because politicians are already asses) that they are genuinely concerned with the public health. But the presumption from all levels of government should be that liberty is paramount.
Instead, from New York, we get this stupidity. Go figure.