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Tobacco Companies Sue FDA, Claim Warning Labels Violate 1st Amendment

August 18, 2011 by  

Tobacco Companies Sue FDA, Claim Warning Labels Violate 1st Amendment

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new mandates for cigarette packaging and advertisements, requiring larger, more prominent warnings about the health effects of cigarette smoking to be displayed starting in September 2012. On Tuesday, five tobacco companies filed suit against the FDA, alleging that the warnings violate the companies’ 1st Amendment rights.

“The primary complaint is that we think it violates the First Amendment for the government to require people who produce a lawful product to essentially urge prospective purchasers not to buy it,” Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment case expert who’s representing the plaintiffs, told CNN.

“The government has [a] lot of power to require warnings, but it doesn’t require half of a cigarette pack to scream out, ‘Don’t buy this product!’” Abrams said. “What is at issue is putting photographs of diseased people on every cigarette pack, include a phone number, and ask people to stop smoking. It’s the direct advocacy to not buy the product, as opposed to a straightforward warning.”

According to the article, the FDA has refused to comment on pending litigation, but the original FDA press release for the nine new images that are supposed to be used on the packaging suggests the agency believes it acted within the scope of its authority: “The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requires nine new larger and more noticeable textual warning statements to appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements. It also directs FDA to issue regulations requiring that color graphic images depicting the negative health consequences of smoking accompany the nine new textual warning statements.”

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  • s c

    If the tobacco folks are truly concerned about their ‘image’ or being victimized by Uncle Scam or various groups of shysters, they should at least have the integrity to remove all of the chemical nightmares that are in their cigarettes. There is a nasty, incestuous relationship going on between Uncle Scam and America’s tobacco giants, and Americans are caught in the middle.
    If you look around, there are manufacturers who sell cigarettes that don’t have all the suicidal ingredients found in American cigarettes.
    Uncle Scam relies on Americans getting hooked and staying hooked. Otherwise, all that EASY revenue will disappear and some folks in Congress and tobacco-growing states will be “deprived.”
    Uncle Scam is not our friend. As for the tobacco bunch, they’re in a league of their own, and neither are they our friends. Where do you think someone dreamed up the idea of ‘with friends like these . . .’ [?]. One herd wants us dependent and poor, and the other wants us sick and under the thumb of medical hacks who refuse to tell it like it is to those who suffer or help them break the damned habit.

    • Mike in MI

      sc – Good points.
      Well, none the less though, they are doing unconstitutional directives and showing biases towards one thing over another. If the gubmit is going to force tobacco to put macabre warning labels on their packaging because their products hurt and kill people they also ought to do it to Big Pharma, vaccine producers and every (no, most) medical office front door and wall hanging, milk producers, pepsico, coca-cola, KFC, soda crackers, white bread, General Mills (and anyone else carrying High Fructose Corn Syrup into people’s mouths), MSG laden food products, GMO’s, Non-organic meat (of all types) producers for poisonous antibiotic metabolites and hormones and – lest this missive get unterminably long – start out putting them on Crapitol Hill and the WH for allowing and enabling all of it.
      Phooey! The list is too long to contemplate. Hell, Tobacco isn’t even close to being the worst.
      I suppose in the last analysis it all comes down to Christianity with God’s promises or the consequences of unbelief. In Mark 16:18 where Jesus Christ said, “…, and if they shall drink (ingest) any deadly thing it shall not hurt them, …”. So, “Why say grace before meals just for the blessing it can be to health, strength and healthy mind, in Jesus Christ’s name you ask”? I declare, God thought of everything. All we have to do is find the applicable principle (clause in the contract) and claim it in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Do it and we get the benefit.
      Deny or forget to do it and you take potpourri. Like Dirty Harry said, “I don’t know…Do you feel lucky today?”

    • Dan az

      sc
      I think if they wanted to scare people in to stop smoking then the picture should be of obumer,Now That Scares Me!I agree with you on the crap that they still put into them.The worst are the ones that are coming in from Canada that are half the price.I smoke more now then when I smoked my original brand.I went from one pack a day to two packs a day.I’m not sure what it is that they put in them but I can attest that in the middle of the night I have to get up and have one befare I can go back to sleep.Before everyone starts boo hooing me I have been smoking for 50+ years and nothing shows as a negative in my medical reports.And we are all born to die so get over it.The point I would like to make is that the price is astronomical for one reason and that’s pure profit for the big gubmnt.So the more they tell me to stop the more I’m going to smoke.I plan to grow my own in the green house when its done.When the gubmnt gets involved in business’s the will always screw up a good wet dream.FACT!

      • Sarah

        Add, Poloser and dingy Harry and the stores won’t dare stock them anymore.

      • Average Joe

        Dan az,
        I’m right there with you 40 years plus. I actually went to the “little filtered cigars”…because they aren’t under the same rules as cigarettes. I can still get a carton for under $10 (believe it or not). It took me about two weeks to make the changover and during those two weeks I went from 1 pack a day to 1.5 packs a day. Once I did get used to the difference in taste, I went back to 1 pack a day. I have been smoking them for about a year now…and when someone offers me a real cig….I cough and hack the whole time I am smoking it. The Brand that I finally decided upon is called “OHM” filtered cigars….$8.99 per carton from Inter-continental Trading USA, Mt Prospect, Ill.60056. Look around your area and see if anyone carries them….anything is worth a try. The price is right and after getting used to them….so are the smokes.

        • Bus

          I’m no smoker but I’m with the tobacco co.’s on this one. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you and a stupid picture isn’t going to make a bit of difference. Should the government start requiring pictures of grizzly car crashes painted on the doors of every car? They cause lots of death as well?
          Does the government still give tobacco farmers subsidies?

          • Average Joe

            I don’t know about cars (now that we have Government Motors)….but I figure beer bottles and cans…wine liquor etc…will get those lables of the grizzly car crashes…if the tobacco companies lose this one….. I can see it now….Drinking kills!
            Give the government an inch and they’ll take a thousand miles.

            A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
            Douglas Adams

  • Simian Pete

    WOW ! The FDA is forcing pictures on cigarette packs/cartons like the one shown in the post ? That’s awesome !! It looks like that guy is smoking thru a hole in his neck !! Hey Marcy, good post ! Do you know where one can see a preview of the pictures ? What’s the hyperlink ?

    I think Uncle Sam is getting a little bit stingy. All these years he supported the tobacco industry. But now with socialized healthcare Uncle Sam doesn’t want to get stuck with the bill. What I’m referring to is them large medical bill to treat cancer caused by them cigarettes !!!

    You can’t get away from all that second hand smoke, no matter where you go ! Them smokers are everywhere ! I remember back in the 1990′s, when people here in CT still smoked in the office. MOST OF THE BOSSES SMOKED !!! Say goodbye to your job if you complain !!!

    Then Human Resources had a “vote” on whether we should get rid of smoking in the building ! That took alot of guts !! Those Human Resource people put their job on the line – most of the Execs smoked in their offices !!!

    The majority of employees voted for a smoke free building …
    So they built a little “gazebo” outside the building with benches and a roof so the smokers could smoke. Worked out OK !!

    • Emoke

      I say get rid of socialized medecine and let people do what they will. There is already talk of taxing unhealthy food, plastic bags anything that they can build a case against be it true or not. I’ve always been an advocate of educate not mandate. Some people grasp the lesson others don’t but the lesson is so much harder to grasp if the natural consequences are mitigated. If you take away welfare so many more people will learn to work and heavens maybe even learn to keep their legs shut if they don’t get paid for every child they produce. Charity needs to be a much more localized issue so that education comes with the charity not an entitlement mentality.

      • Mike in MI

        Emoke -
        That’s one big, bitter mouthful to some we know. But it’s sweet on the stomach. Sort of like cayenne pepper.
        Well done.

  • http://frankl.successin10steps.com/?mad=59613 FrankE

    I believe it is an encroachment on anybody when the government imposes an undue hardship in violation of the 1st amendment. It they can do it one time they will do it again and again until you have no rights. The constitution is for everybody and we should stand up and preserve those rights so our children can have the same rights to pursue their dreams that our forefathers intended.

    • Mike in MI

      FrankE -
      It might be good for us to remember that these companies are legally classed as individuals now. So, if we say or do the wrong (unliberal) thing they’ll probably come around requiing us to wear a big sign on ourselves advertizing how bad we are or put a big red “O” on our foreheads, signifying we have transgressed the Holy Obama’z Word…fine us and cast us in the WH outhouse pit. Oh well, he’ll poop on our heads, in or out, if we let him (them – he’s just the titular ((and expendable))suckface)).

      • eddie47d

        Obama is a smoker so I doubt if he spearheaded this ruling. Anyway the Tobacco Companies have lied,conned and deceived the public for a mighty long time. It’s hard to have pity on them now. They duped the American people with glamour ads and the macho man image. Now they are making billions in China and Indonesia persuading the rest of the world to take up their deceiving product. I loved it in the 50-60′s when they had “professional” doctors in their commercials telling us all how good cigarettes are for us.

        • Song

          On this I agree with you.

  • Wapitiman

    I am a non-smoker. But I am infuriated over how this nanny government persecutes people who choose to buy and use a legal product. They have been taxed to the eyeballs and local governments have stolen this money (which was supposed to be dedicated to encourage non-smoking) and add it to their bloated tax base. This is stealing folks.
    Now, those good folks in the government (who have managed to bankrupt this country) are squeezing the cigarette companies even more.
    Why doesn’t our oh-so-concerned government purchase these cigarette companies and buy out the stockholders and then shut the doors? Too honest? Too legitimate? Or, is it because these paragons of freedom and political correctness, know that they would be creating an underground smoking culture akin to prohibition and enrich those outside the law who would quickly organize a distribution network. This would be a fiasco rivaling the current, laughable ‘war on drugs’!

    • Dan az

      Wapitiman
      Speaking of taxes how about the millions that they take in for the lotto?Just a couple of days ago it was at 220 million and they took their share which was 110 million.Where does it go?The indian reservations bring in billions on casinos and don’t pay any taxes but if you win the gubmnt is right there getting theirs before you do!Whats that word now ( hypocritical)ya that seems to fit!

  • Morduin00

    I like the warnings on the cigarette packs in Canada. Humorous but to the point.

    Its funny how the government is keen on environmental protection but wont cut smoking all together. Would that be because smoking is a major source of tax revenue? …kind of like fossil fuels :-)

  • FlaJim

    To be honest, I’ve never read a warning label in my life and can understand the tobacco companies’ complaint in that the new regulations would interfere with the branding of their product.

    Whenever politicians and their near kin, the regulators, want to appear to be worth what they’re being paid, they come out with some loony new rule that’s ineffective, costly, and annoying.

  • James

    The First Amendment, in relevant part, reads: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” And that surely applies to federal bureaus as well as Congress. In my opinion, requiring tobacco companies to write and picture certain things on tobacco packages is a classic violation of the First Amendment.
    Warning us about the detrimental effects of smoking is certainly within federal bureaucratic authority, but requiring tobacco companies to assist them in that effort is not. Most Americans know that smoking is an unhealthy habit, but forcing us to live a better life, from the federal perspective, is not within the powers of the federal government.

  • 45caliber

    I didn’t know that companies had 1st Amendment rights. I was always under the impression that only people had that.

    • James

      45caliber, They don’t. But everyone has the right to write and speak freely, if they are willing to face the possible consequences.

  • Song

    I don’t have a problem with the gruesome pictures. I won’t ever be buying a pack and I personally have a bigger problem with the second hand smoke forced on non-smokers by smokers in public places. A post earlier mentioned education not mandate. I am a strong proponent of education and think that these pics are no different than the movies they show kids in driver’s ed which are also pretty gruesome. That the actions of our government are hypocritical should be no surprise to anyone. And I agree 45, I didn’t know that companies had 1st Amendment rights either.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Song,
      some of these people complaining are hypocrites! Back when I smoked( I quit cold turkey, by the way, so it CAN be done. after 40+ years of smoking, too) I can remember sitting at a counter at Perkins in willoughby ohio and a lady(?) came in and looked at the counter and seeing I was the only one at it and smoking she sat right next to me and demanded that I put out my cigarette. I told her there was plenty of space at the other end of the counter. she said that she didn’t want to sit there. I moved to the other end and DAMN IF SHE DIDN’T MOVE RIGHT NEXT TO ME AND STARTED AGAIN!!! I sat there, smoked my cig and blew the smoke right at her!!! TYPICAL PROG!!!

      • Song

        All I can say is “wow”. While I have been annoyed by the smoke from someone’s cigarette before, like standing in line or stuck in traffic, I would never have done what that women did to you. That is just plain rude. Kudos on quitting though. I know from friends and family members how incredibly difficult that can be. Kind of like me and sugar! haha

      • Average Joe

        I had a similar experience in a Wendy’s. I was sitting in the smoking section when a women came in and sat in the booth next to me,immediately she demanded that I put out my cigarette and then began telling me all about how bad smoking was for me. At first, I ignored her…so she got downright ugly in my face. I reminded her that she was sitting in the smoking section and that I fully intended to finish my smoke before leaving at which point she went to grab for my cigarette and I grabbed her arm to stop her…she starts screaming that I am assaulting her. Needless to say, the police were called …and after taking my statement along with many others in Wendy’s …the woman was asked to leave the store or face an assault charge herself. As it turns out after speaking with the police…she was a “reformed smoker” who couldn’t control her emotions when around other smokers….we all have that one person that we’ve met…that quit and now takes a major stand against anyone who hasn’t quit ( to the point of being obnoxious )….what is it they call those people?…oh yeah…Hypocrites!

  • Sirian

    Oh me oh my, what will Uncle Sam do if it drives the tobacco industry out of business? Oh me oh my, what will Uncle Sam do with the thousands and thousands of people that it will put out of work by doing this; tobacco manufacturers, tobacco farmers, chemical companies (they too have a hand in this product), transportation industry, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, research institutes, hospitals and on and on and on. Federal, State, local and city governments will then lose their ever present tax revenue that has been increased time after time (don’t forget the billions pulled in by the lawsuit fiasco years ago) while in turn has had a very negligible effect on the number of people that choose to smoke. People aren’t forced to take up the habit of smoking yet people are not forced to take up the ever deathly practice of driving an automobile, now are they. In truth there is a risk to whatever you may choose to do so what difference is there? What individuals choose to do with their lives in actuality is an independent, constitutionally based right that they may feel is best for them. Direction by an overlord government is not, in any way, what should be forced upon the people of America. Then again, it appears so many sheeple think otherwise. Common sense was at one time deeply set within the majority of the populace. Regrettably, over the past four decades, it has slipped quietly away. Don’t worry, Uncle Sam knows what’s best for us all, now doesn’t he?
    A true shame. . .

    • Song

      How is putting gruesome pictures on a pack of cigarettes taking away anyone’s freedom of choice? It is no different than requiring an ultrasound before a woman gets an abortion so that she can make a more informed decision. In the long run I doubt that it will have the desired impact because most people that smoke have the same attitude that you do Sirian “everything can hurt you…so what is the difference.” As for your example of driving automobiles, talk about apples and oranges. To be a productive citizen and go to work etc., you HAVE to drive (in most cases). Does it upset you that in driver’s ed they show gruesome movies of what happens if you are not a careful driver???

      • Sirian

        Song,
        I understand where your stance on this is – quite obvious. But hypothetically, how would you react if it became Federally mandated that during the process of buying a car the purchaser must view pictures, uh as you put it – “gruesome movies” of what may happen to you if you buy this particular model car? Can you see the idiocy involved? Of course its easy to see that people need cars to get to work. That is an obvious also. But do you see what the main point is? As I said, it is a choice of each and every citizen, independently, individually, as to what they wish or prefer to do with their life. That is the true wonderment of “Freedom”. If you are dead set against smoking, fine. I have no problem with that. Again, that is what you should relish as the freedom you possess to do so. But does it also give you the right to force your opinion or stance of one particular subject, issue, habit, practice on someone else? That I will leave with you. Remember, you may become subject to something such as this due to someone else not liking what you do in the years to come. I hope not, but. . .

        • Song

          I understand your point Sirian. I would be greatly annoyed if they showed pictures of morbidly obese people on packs of OREO’s or say globs of fat haha or animals at slaughterhouses on packs of meat…I can’t say that I am not a little biased when it comes to smoking because I have watched my young, beautiful 20 year old daughter pick up the habit and in one year have watched her health decline. She is constantly getting colds and her teeth are already turning yellow, not to mention the smell. If showing gruesome pics on a pack of cigarettes would deter young people from smoking then I would be very happy about that, but I do understand the main point that the government has no business in our personal lives and I do believe that. In addition, I used to volunteer in the oncology ward at St. Vincent’s and 9 out of 10 people languishing from cancer were smokers. Sure you might get away with smoking for 40 or 50 years and many of these people had done just that, but at 63, and 74, 82 or 50…none of them wanted to die and all of them said if they could do it again they would have never started smoking in the first place.

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    Attention:
    LET ABOLISHED DRIVER’S LICENSE!

    Georgia Republican: Nobody Should Need A Driver’s License
    Ryan J. Reilly | February 2, 2011, 8:50AM2859

    Bobby Franklin

    Republican Georgia state legislator Bobby Franklin thinks that driver’s licenses impose undue restrictions on the right of citizens to travel. So he’s proposed legislation to stop the state from issuing them.

    “Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose,” Franklin’s legislation states. “Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right.”

    In an interview with CBS Atlanta News, Franklin claimed driver’s licenses are a throw back to oppressive times.

    “Agents of the state demanding your papers,” he said. “We’re getting that way here.”

    He said there wasn’t a reason for people to need to know who was whom on the roads, and that there’s nothing in place to stop children from driving anyways.I AGREE ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!

    • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

      I FORGOT THE (S) ON LETS.

    • James

      Coal miner, We certainly have the right to travel, but States have the police power to assure that drivers can see well enough to drive, and have enough prowess to pass a simple driver’s test. Many attempts have been made to free us from such regulations, but all have failed.

      • Emoke

        Here in Southern California you will find lots of unlicensed drivers and that little peice of paper will never stop them from driving. A lot of them are here illegally to start with. Then you have the cadre of people who have had their driver’s license taken away for one reason or other. A lot of them still drive as well. In this hedonistic society, who is the government to tell them that they can’t do something just because they want to. They are very sorry…. that they get caught occasionally.

        • James

          Emoke, If an unlicensed driver is driving safely and sanely, and a licensed driver crashes into him, the unlicensed driver caannot collect damages because he was not supposed to be there. He could be arrested for impeding traffic and driving without a license.

      • Average Joe

        James

        “Many attempts have been made to free us from such regulations, but all have failed.”

        Thank the insurance compamies for that….who do you think came up with the idea of a drivers license in the first place? The same with seatbelts, airbags etc…etc…etc.( which is why a car can’t be built anymore for under 20k) Insurance lobbists who were looking for ways to take our money while reducing their risks of having to pay off. If they had their way, we would be totally encased in foam and never allowed to go over 5 miles an hour…but they would still want that monthly insurance check from us.
        But I guess if you have 25-30 trillion dollars to lobby with ( back in 1980, the insurance cos. had over 17 trillion in funds to lobby with)…you tend to be able to buy the best politicians money can buy.

        • James

          Average Joe, Compulsory insurance was the frosting on their cake. I drive an old car and have spent more on insurance than I paid for the car. It could be that the Supreme Court will use compulsory auto insurance as precedent, and require that we all buy health insurance.

    • Average Joe

      coal miner,

      For once, I agree with you ( scary huh?)
      I have been saying the same thing for years…and after I explain my reasoning ( which follow the Georgia lawmakers points) most people agreee with me….Having any type of License…insinuates that we are doing something “proffessional” and need to be licensed. Now While I agree that if you make your living on the highways ( Truck driver, bus driver, taxi driver etc) should be licensed because this is their “profession”….driving, you should be licensed. However, the majority of people do not need to be. Sure, I can see the point, that we should be tested for competency behind the wheel, Once we have demonstrated that competency, we should be issued a DL for life. Only when we cause damage with reckless disregard should that “right to travel” ever be questioned or threatened. I also think that we we should be tested for our eyesight after a certain age ( by an optomitrist) and the results of those tests be sent to both the state and the person as to whether or not we are safe to drive.

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    I think it does violate The First Amendment.

    The attack on smokers can no longer go unchallenged. …. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is the second-largest tobacco company in … After the Bloomberg tax it will take more than a commission to stop the flood of contraband into the city. …. A vicious cycle is created where states react to lower-than-expected …
    http://nycclash.com/Taxes.html

    • James

      Coal miner, The Supreme Court has ruled that such licenses cannot be punitive in nature. They can only charge reasonable fees for processing the paperwork.

  • talking monkey

    The true measure of how honest a person is, is when that person will stick by the God-given rights that our original Constitution guarantees us EVEN when it means defending something that you, yourself do not do. You may WISH people would do what YOU KNOW to be right… but then, respecting OTHERS’ rights to think THEY are right, is what America is SUPPOSED to be all about!

    Our country is so full of phony, hypocritical, controlling DO-GOODERS – as well as people who have NO IDEA of just WHAT freedom really is, I fear it is going to take some REAL BAD HARD times ahead for people to WAKE UP!

    The GOVERNMENT is NOT MY KEEPER! And it NEVER will be. Period.

    THEY know it… and I know it… DO YOU?

  • James

    Both federal and state courts have ruled that taxes must be reasonably equal. That is, governments can’t tax one thing more than another just because they don’t like some things. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Congress can’t tax one group for the benefit of another (U.S. v. Butler, 1935). That is, they can’t tax tobacco then give those taxes to non-smokers, or other groups they like bettr.

    • diane

      And that is EXACTLY what they did. Back in the 90′s, my in-laws, because they had a house and paid taxes, got a $130. check issued to them from the tobacco lawsuit. THEY didn’t smoke a single cigarette.So as far as not being able to dole out the tax money to someone that’s a non-smoker, already has been done. So much for that law being followed.

      • James

        Diane, It’s not a law, It’s a principle. If you know of some violation of that, like you mentioned, you, and others, should file a lawsuit in federal court and contest such handouts. Principles don’t defend themselves. And Courts don’t know of such offenses unless one files a lawsuit.

  • WickedPickle

    And nobody seems to understand.. The G’ment WILL NOT downgrade.. So, when cigarettes are banned altogether, when the fag companies are forced to close their doors (poor little rich wimps) and hundreds of thousnds more find themselves on the (soon to be bankrupt) unemployment line, who do you think the g’ment will target in order to make up for those now defunct tax revenues? Look out non-smokers, your little habits are about to be challenged and tax bloated. And which one’s will those be? Get a brain! The very ones that you enjoy the most of course. I can see it now.. “Golf is hazardess to someone else’s health” (with a picture (mandated on every golf bag) of some guy with his brains leaking out caused by impact from a misguided ball) FORE!!!

  • Average Joe

    As a smoker, I just want to know one thing….Is there a special prize for collecting the whole set of pictures?….you know…like a free carton of smokes or something along those lines?….If not, you’re just waste your time…it isn’t going to make me quit smoking.
    Just like an alcoholic, we will quit….when we decide that we’ve had enough…and not moment before.
    They can make all of the claims that they want concerning tobbacco use and it’s health affects, However, how do they explain people like my great grandfather who smoked every day of his life ( from the age of 8) ….and died at the ripe old age of 97…from old age? Or the fact that I have beeen smoking for over 40 years and my last complete screening showed no ill effects on my health…not even a spot on my lungs? But, my mother died of cancer….and she never smoked a day in her life. I believe that we are either born with a gene that pre disposes cancer…or we are not….end of story. Unless you want to inclue the crap the the Goernment shoots into us with all of the crazy “vaccinations”….that we absolutely “must have”….you know, the ones that they now start giving us asoon as we are born…
    Thank God that I was born in the 50s…..before all of this crap from Uncle Sammy.

    • Average Joe

      ( from the age of 8 ) I hate it when that happens.

    • Song

      What can anyone say except there are exceptions to every rule. I have a different experience from yours. The smokers in my family died “young” (in their 60′s) and a lot of the young people I associate with not only smoke, but they drink and not only do they drink but they also abuse drugs. Certainly there are several factors that combine to create an unhealthy lifestyle and shorten your life, but I think it is a pretty safe bet with the information that we have now, that smoking is one of them. That said, it is definitely your choice and you are right that no one is going to quit unless they want too no matter what anyone says or does. Heaven knows my daughter doesn’t listen to me and you are right, they would probably just treat the pictures on the packs of cigarettes like trading cards and see how many they could get.

      • Average Joe

        I will never agree that smoking is “good” for me. But as you stated…many factors go into deterrmining our health…not just one or two things…but rather everything we do in life contributes to our overall well being.

        • James

          Average Joe, Arthur ‘plink’ ‘plink’ Godfrey used to say “Buy ‘em by the carton” then he croaked with lung cancer.

          • http://?? Joe H.

            Yeah, at 79 years old!!

  • talking monkey

    It is NOT ANYONE’s “right” to decide what someone ELSE should do or not do… as long as they are not infringing on the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” of others.

    It is only with the advent of socialism and communism, however surreptitiously inserted into our midst, that there then becomes the question of just WHO is going to pay for WHAT… and THAT, my dears, IS the whole cruxt of the problem that we have in this “crony-capitalist big government state” that the “elites” have propagated for us. TRUE capitalism is what we need here. NOT the socialist, communist, statist mentality that we have been spoon fed our entire lives.

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