The Family That Prevents Smoking Together…

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Yesterday two bipartisan pairs–Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) in the Senate, Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in the House–introduced a new bill to give the FDA authority over tobacco products. Last year a similar proposal fell apart when the anti-smoking crowd turned against it. This time around, the legislation has support not only from Philip Morris, the country's biggest cigarette manufacturer, but from the four leading anti-smoking groups: the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The full text of the bill, known as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, is not available yet. But with backing (and a name) like that, it can't be good.

According to an analysis circulated by Philip Morris, the bill would codify the restrictions on advertising and promotion the FDA tried to unilaterally impose in 1996 (including a ban on pictures in tobacco ads that appear in publications seen by substantial numbers of minors). It would also ban fruit and spice flavors; require premarket approval for new tobacco products; mandate bigger, scarier warning labels; allow comparative risk statements only with FDA approval; and give the FDA the authority to demand reductions in nicotine and other tobacco components. Like last year's bill, it instructs the FDA to consider the impact of a new product or new product information on "the population as a whole" as well as individual consumers, meaning that indisputably safer products still could be rejected, and demonstrably true information censored, based on a dubious collectivist calculus.

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  1. man, dewine has been pretty busy lately.

  2. baptists and bootleggers

  3. It’s not just Congress that opposes smoking. Here, Jesus tells what He would do: http://www.christianitytoday.com/cl/2004/003/2.12.html .

    Jacob, btw, great cicada piece!

  4. It should not be a surprise that the tobacco companies would agree to ban all advertising per the FDA rules. When the MSA was negotiated in 1998, tobacco companies voluntarily expunged characters such as Joe Camel because that reduced one margin of competition between tobacco producers. The rest is just the “Bootleggers & Baptists” theory in action.

  5. You got it xray….

  6. “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act”

    Given the actual substance of the bill, that’s one of the more comically blatant uses of a touchy-feely key word I’ve heard in a long time. I wonder how long it will be before every bill includes family, child/children, freedom, apple pie, puppies, etc.

  7. Has anyone else noticed that “bipartisan” legislation tends to be comprised of laws that restrict freedoms? James Wilson knew this. So did Madison. But has anyone lately said anything about it?

    PATRIOT Act: House 313 Senate 98

    Just curious.

  8. At the risk of throwing decorum out the window, I was wondering if in the future I needed the government’s permission to shit. Then I remembered my toilet is 1.5 gallon, as the law demands.

    TGIF

  9. The FDA has announced that soda manufacturers are no longer permitted to augment their original flavors with fruit or spices. Starting today, the manufacture, distribution, or possession of any vanilla, lemon, or other cola variant will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  10. And a thousand Goths cry out in despair (well, more despair than usual) as the clove cigarette becomes illegal.

    Because, you know, it’s for the CHILDREN.

  11. So what’s to be done about this? November’s coming up, folks. Are you going to keep supporting the “bipartisan” scam? Are you going to stay home and let it go on? Or are you going to cast your votes for “not the Demos or GOP”?

    Do me a favor, and do yourself one, too: check out the candidates available on your ballot. If there are any Libertaians there, look into them and see if they seem like competent people who could do (or could at least soon grow into) the job. If so, please consider voting for them.

    If you want A, it is not enough to withhold your consent from those who would only give you B and C, although that is important, too. If someone pledges to move in the direction of A, you need to support that person, at least if you think the pledge is sincere and the candidate is able. Doing nothing, or accepting the same-old-same-old, has only made things worse: anyone who has been paying attention has witnessed that truth for years. Voting for what you want may be a longshot, but at least it is still a shot. I encourage everyone: take it.

  12. Great, just what we need, another cash cow for the mafia.

  13. If the flavoring restrictions include mint and menthol, we can see this as another attack upon “people of color”. But then rich white men have always seen the darkies as their “children”, and are only exercising a moral duty to protect weaker minds.

    ps: Tom Davis has come a long way after being Franken’s partner. 🙂

  14. Look on the bright side: At least the bill doesn’t have a stupid acronym.

    I do have to admit, every time I see something like this, the little anti-smoking Fabianist that lives deep inside my black libertarian heart smiles a little. Just a little.

  15. Anyone know if the ban on “fruit and spice flavors” is only for cigarettes, or all tobacco? Am I going to have to give up my black cherry pipe tobacco because of some goddamn weenie congresscritters wanting to be seen doing something for “the children”? Fucking goddamn stupid sunzabitches.

    Hmmm? What? It’s going to be considered “terrorism” to criticize any law Congress considers under PATRIOT II? I mean, thank you, masters! May I please have more of my freedoms taken away in the name of “the children”?

  16. Anyone know if the ban on “fruit and spice flavors” is only for cigarettes, or all tobacco? Am I going to have to give up my black cherry pipe tobacco because of some goddamn weenie congresscritters wanting to be seen doing something for “the children”? Fucking goddamn stupid sunzabitches.

    Hmmm? What? It’s going to be considered “terrorism” to criticize any law Congress considers under PATRIOT II? I mean, thank you, masters! May I please have more of my freedoms taken away in the name of “the children”?

  17. Cigarette companies worldwide should divest of their plants immediately and convert their operations into anti-tobacco ivory tower think tanks. The profit margins would be better, and the lost tax revenue would bankrupt every state government in the union. If we’re really lucky, some government bodies worldwide would follow suit

  18. Gunnar: There is a still a fortune to be made selling death sticks to the majority of the world not yet protected by nannycrats.

  19. According to the summary I have, the bill bans “the use of flavors such as strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, etc. that are used as the ‘characterizing flavor.'” So even assuming that the ban applies to all tobacco products (which it seems to), cherry pipe tobacco probably would be allowed, because it does not really taste like cherries. Also, there’s an explicit exception for menthol.

  20. Start making room in your basement next to your pot plants.

  21. So even assuming that the ban applies to all tobacco products (which it seems to), cherry pipe tobacco probably would be allowed, because it does not really taste like cherries.

    Thank the dear Lord above! I would have hated to . . . well, I don’t know what I would’ve done, but I would’ve done something dire if they took away my cherry tobacco, mark my words. Thanks for the info!

  22. Fortunately for the goths there’s still the internet which will allow you to order cloves directly from Indonesia. And I would suppose there’s similar easy sources for black cherry tobacco.

    Somehow I suspect this law will substantially increase the amount of grey market tobacco sales to those relatively few people who want flavoured smokes.

  23. Not that the rest of the bill isn’t bullshit, too. It’s certainly something that I’ll write my congressman to oppose (not that it’ll help, here in the middle of the Bible Belt).

  24. They’re going to take my shisha? What am I going to smoke on my yearly visit to the hookah bar, regular tobacco? Fuck.

    Obviously a plot to punish Middle Easterners. </sarcasm>

  25. I’m just surprised Schumer and Feinstein aren’t sponsors. Those two usually figure prominently, along with the utterly loathsome theocrat Orrin Hatch, in any authoritarian measure to supervise us “for our own good.”

  26. At first I was disappointed that menthol was excepted; I was looking forward to some rabble-rousing at the bar. But at second thought, taking a lesson from the gloomseers, I can argue that the goth kids are protected while the Afros are left free to die. The HIV and the crack weren’t killing enough of them, so we must keep them smoking tobacco. I’ll look for this idea in Farrakhan’s next speech.

  27. You’re right. We’ve got to stop this “anti-smoking crowd”. Because if we don’t, next we’ll be kowtowing to the “anti-carjacking crowd”, the “anti-child rape crowd” and the “anti-just grabbing people at freaken random and smashing their heads with a rock crowd”.

    Anyway, why should the tobacco companies have a monopoly on selling products that, when used as intended, um, well, KILL the user? Hey I want to get in on some of that action — that’s why I sell SaniCola (“It’s A Soft Drink! It’s A Drain Cleaner! It’s Two, Two, Two Products In One!”)

    Cretins.

  28. As a non-goth who really enjoys cloves, I wonder if this will simply ban American manufacturers from making flavoured cigs or if it will also ban individuals from possessing or importing them.

  29. *sneers cynically whilst lighting a joint*

    Once tobacco is banned, weed sales’ll skyrocket. Watch, everyone an their momma that used to smoke Camels an’ Kools will gradually but swiftly shift to the chronic. Might as well if it’s all illegal, right?

  30. Thank you for protecting me. I had a horrible week at work and I decided I needed a little “pain relief” (Irish whiskey and cherry flavored chewing tobacco) tonight.

    Thank god, in a few years I won’t have that option – I will again start to go to bed an angry sober man.

  31. “Ban fruit and spice flavors….with the exception of menthol”

    To the neo Linnaeans among the New Atlantis crowd in the smoke free White HOuse ,
    mint evidently does not qualify as a vegetable, like ketchup.

  32. The push for a ban on fruit and spice flavors by anti-smoking groups makes sense; MADD and the CSPI opposed and pushed for more taxes on the various malt beverages because of their “sweet taste” and it’s supposed lure to young people.

    If they (nannies) can’t ban these products, they will do everything in their power to make sure they are as unpleasant as possible.

    I wonder how long it will take for the nannies to push this concept into food. Perhaps pushing for bans on certain types of flavoring agents or cooking styles because they aren’t required to consume the food and because they make the food more attractive to people with eating disorders.

    I can just see some nimrod talking about how barbeque sauce isn’t required for BBQing chicken and how it just facilitates excess consumption.
    Using the all-too-standard blueprint, they can also inject “the children” somewhere in there to bolster their case.

  33. How stupid does Philip Morris have to be to support this bill? Once the historic ban on FDA regulation of tobacco is broken, the slippery slope is very well greased, and there are plenty of fanatics ready to push for a total ban on tobacco, and every intermediate step on the way there.

    There is plenty of history in all the no-smoking-in-public bans to show who the smoking nazis are, what they want, and how they are willing to get there a step at a time. If this bill passes, the only thing saving us from a total ban on smoking is the high taxes on tobacco. And isn’t that a sad commentary for a nation founded by tobacco farmers staging a tax revolt to fight for freedom.

  34. R.C. Dean,

    Although they’re clearly not thinking ahead, it might make economic sense in the short run. Big business mostly supported efforts under Woodrow Wilson’s war economy to limit product differentiation and variety: the effect was the same as if all the producers in a market had formed a private cartel and agreed to restrict competition in product features and options, so as to increase production of fewer product lines and keep down costs. Only this cartel was indefectible, since it was organized through the government.

    The tobacco industry may be making a similar calculation here. Then, too, they’ve shifted more and more of their sales to the Third World, so they see their market here as a cash cow to be maximized in the short-run, anyway.

  35. Voice of the Democracys (sic.) wrote:
    “You’re right. We’ve got to stop this ‘anti-smoking crowd’. Because if we don’t, next we’ll be kowtowing to the ‘anti-carjacking crowd’, the ‘anti-child rape crowd’ and the ‘anti-just grabbing people at freaken random and smashing their heads with a rock crowd’.”

    Voice, the difference here is that smoking is consensual. Smokers freely choose to smoke, and to assume whatever risks are associated with smoking. Victims of car jacking, child rape, and head smashing generally don’t make such a choice.

    I am not a smoker, but it is none of my damn business whether smokers choose to engage in behavior that is likely to kill them. I am all for improving public health, but not at the expense of private liberty.

  36. RC, yeah, frankly, it’s disgusting, but Kevin’s right. This is a calculated move by them for two reasons. Like Kevin said, these laws present a huge barrier to entry that protects the big guys in a major way. Cigarette manufacturing, without the massive gov’t controls that exist, is actually not that hard to get into in a niche way. And let’s face it, the stuff that the big guys make is crap; a little guy could come in with a quality product and grab a lot of the discriminating market.

    Plus, any blanket ban on all or a type of advertising would probably not be strongly opposed. Any idiot knows that ads are targetted at people using other brands, not people who aren’t using the product at all. Which is why, once the picture was clear, the big guys went along with the TV ban, and pulled all their ads early as a final “fuck you” to the broadcasters. (One of my favorite moments in history, actually.)

    The other reason is that MO figures this is gonna happen anyway (and sadly they’re probably right) and they might as well be part of it to get as many (at least temporary) concessions as they can. For instance, I find the fruit and spice bans interesting. If you’ve looked at the cig markets at all recently, it’s easy to see who that’s aimed directly at–their initials are RJR. I don’t think MO has anything flavored other than menthol, but RJR has been getting big into other fruit and spice flavors and trying to tap the “luxury smokes” market. I will be interested to see if this is actually to be a ban on cloves as well; that’s something a lot of people have wanted to see for a while.

    Y’know I’ve never been someone who didn’t firmly believe the world is generally better than fifty or even ten years ago. But does it have to cost so damn much?

  37. Philip Morris crawls on their hands and knees to fetch a bone for “chopper BIG ANTI TOBACCO”.
    For being a “good boy” Chopper allows PM to front their “select” tobacco paper as fire safe.
    The lobbyists that front the “fire Safe” cigarette legislation in some states are the same people that front tobacco regulations, restrictions,bans and tax increases on tobacco products with a protion always going to pre selected anti smoking groups to fight for more anti tobacco grants so “chopper” can buy influence to legislate as a fourth arm against the golden cow called tobacco. Shit man, we should throw their sorry ass’es into the Boston Harbor

  38. Philip Morris crawls on their hands and knees to fetch a bone for “chopper BIG ANTI TOBACCO”.
    For being a “good boy” Chopper allows PM to front their “select” tobacco paper as fire safe.
    The lobbyists that front the “fire Safe” cigarette legislation in some states are the same people that front tobacco regulations, restrictions,bans and tax increases on tobacco products with a protion always going to pre selected anti smoking groups to fight for more anti tobacco grants so “chopper” can buy influence to legislate as a fourth arm against the golden cow called tobacco. Shit man, we should throw their sorry ass’es into the Boston Harbor

  39. Philip Morris crawls on their hands and knees to fetch a bone for “chopper BIG ANTI TOBACCO”.
    For being a “good boy” Chopper allows PM to front their “select” tobacco paper as fire safe.
    The lobbyists that front the “fire Safe” cigarette legislation in some states are the same people that front tobacco regulations, restrictions,bans and tax increases on tobacco products with a protion always going to pre selected anti smoking groups to fight for more anti tobacco grants so “chopper” can buy influence to legislate as a fourth arm against the golden cow called tobacco. Shit man, we should throw their sorry ass’es into the Boston Harbor

  40. Here in California, the “Rob Reiner” tax on tobacco products funds a number of propaganda efforts, including, I believe, the organization that released a particularly loathsome PSA for television broadcast:

    The visual throughout almost the entire spot is a montage of people, seated at outdoor cafes, talking on streetcorners, going about their lives, etc. blowing bubbles. There are bubbles everywhere, along with happy, ethereal music. This goes on for a while. About the time that your attention finally locks in and you’re asking the question, “what the hell is going on,” the camera settles on a family minivan and “goes inside” as it travels down the road. There, in a carseat, bubbles surround a happy, wonder-filled toddler. Over the image, these words are superimposed: “Imagine a world without cigarettes.”

    Then, the words are replaced by “UNDO tobacco everywhere.”

    I’d have no problem with spots like this one, were their production and broadcast funded entirely from private donation. Free speech is free speech. I don’t believe that’s the case, however. I believe that the public (especially the smoking public) is being taxed to fund this video brainwashing and keep “Friends of Rob” fully employed. And this is without the FDA being in charge. I shudder to think what will come if they should be successful in their power-grab.

  41. “It would also ban fruit and spice flavors”

    Yeah, I’m sure that this has *nothing* to do with Philip Morris’ love for this bill. Fruit and spice cigarrettes are very popular among college-age kids. This is a lovely way to eliminate a substantial competitive threat…

  42. so does that mean cigarette ads will be back on tv like other fda controlled drugs?

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