Thursday, March 13, 2008

Delusional Lawmakers: NJ Senate Bill 613

This bill promises to make any flavored (except menthol) cigarette in New Jersey illegal, next week. I can only assume that cigars are next. The absurd justification for this law is quoted here:;"

“7 1. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. There has been a proliferation of flavored cigarettes 1
8 [and other tobacco products]1 “

"PROLIFERATION"? Could this be divisive fear mongering? Sales of cloves and flavored cigarettes are less than 1% of overall sales.

“9 in recent years, and many of these
10 products have fruit, chocolate or other flavors that are particularly
11 attractive to children;”

"ATTRACTIVE TO CHILDREN"? That’s like saying Daiquiris are attractive to children!!! Will they be outlawing Rum & Cokes, Screwdrivers, Cosmopolitans, Margaritas, and Pi┼ła Coladas? Or how about vanilla extract, tira misu, and bananas foster? Many things are "attractive to children", but not necessarily for children. Not to mention that all of these things are fattening…

“12 b. According to public health experts, the existence of these
13 products increases the incidence of tobacco use among children;”

Food "increases the incidence" of eating; Alcohol "increases the incidence" of drunks; The Sun "increases the incidence" of cancer; Water "increases the incidence" of drowning; Life "increases the incidence" of death; etc...

And, WE ALREADY HAVE LAWS AGAINST CHILDREN BUYING TOBACCO! So why would you pass a law to protect those that are already protected? Would you make cars illegal because drunks drive?

Sadly, this and many other modern laws exist only to "make a point" - a political point, made only by politicians. But it is un-American, senseless, and regressive to restrict freedoms to make a point - Obviously, nobody wants children to smoke or drink.

“14 c The earlier a person begins using tobacco, the more likely the
15 person will become addicted to tobacco products and continue to
16 smoke throughout that person's life;
d. As a result, flavored 1[tobacco products] cigarettes1
17 lead to
18 increased tobacco use and addiction, higher health care costs, and a…”

AS A RESULT, this is how they weave all of that ‘special logic’ together…. Children are good, tobacco is bad, and this trumps any other value or right.

But in the process, menthol cigarettes** will remain legal, and the rights of other businesses and citizens have been curtailed to MAKE A POINT.

Are cigars next? ABSOLUTELY, my fellow lovers of the leaf!

And, I believe overweight people are next too. Eventually those that are not within the ‘normal’ weight range will have to be segregated from children. It would be tragic to have children exposed to such an atrocity. After all, the earlier a person begins eating, the more likely they continue to eat more, and eating leads to weight gain and fat people are bad for children. I can’t wait to see the creative use of language in that law…

The upside of being a Tobacconist today is that at least we are on the right side of morality, history, and the value of human freedom. After all, we are all ‘endowed with the inalienable right to pursue happiness’ – as defined by the individual, not our hypocritical nanny state.

* Personal Disclaimer: I do not enjoy or consume any of the products our legislators are trying to outlaw, but I do support your right to.

** Additional Disclaimer: In an effort to keep this blog short I have omitted many absurdities, including, but not limited to, any analysis of why menthol flavored cigarettes are protected from this new law: Don't kids love mint and menthol flavored things?

*** Further Opinionation: This is, by far, one of the most dangerous and absurd laws I have ever read. Unfortunately, it will probably pass. Laws should preserve freedoms and protect our society; they should not be self-serving instruments of manipulation and propaganda.

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