Tobacco Tyranny: Moving Toward the Next Prohibition

Last week, another bill was passed and signed into law that takes more of our freedoms and violates the Constitution of the United States. It was, of course, done for the sake of the children, and in the name of the health of the citizenry. It’s always the case that when your liberty is seized, it is seized for your own good. Such is the condescension of Washington.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act will give sweeping new powers over tobacco to the FDA. It will require everyone engaged in manufacturing, preparing, compounding, or processing tobacco to register with the FDA and be subjected to FDA inspections, which is yet another violation of the Fourth Amendment. It violates the First Amendment by allowing the FDA to restrict tobacco advertising in multiple ways, as well as an outright ban on advertising any cigarettes as light, mild or low-tar. The FDA will have the power of pre-market reviews of all new tobacco products, and will impose new user fees, meaning taxes, on manufacturers and importers of tobacco products. It will even regulate the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.

My objections to the bill are not an endorsement of tobacco. As a physician I understand the adverse health effects of this bad habit. And that is exactly how smoking should be treated – as a bad habit and a personal choice. The way to combat poor choices is through education and information. Other than ensuring that tobacco companies do not engage in force or fraud to market their products, the federal government needs to stay out of the health habits of free people. Regulations for children should be at the state level. Unfortunately, government is using its already overly intrusive financial and regulatory roles in healthcare to establish a justifiable interest in intervening in your personal lifestyle choices as well. We all need to anticipate the level of health freedom that will remain once government manages all health care in this country.

Actions in Congress such as this tobacco bill are especially disconcerting after we thought we were beginning to see some progress in drawing down the wrong-headed and failed war on drugs. A majority of Americans now think marijuana should be legal, taxed and regulated, according to a recent Zogby poll and over 70 percent are in favor of allowing medicinal use of marijuana. Bills like this take us down exactly the wrong path. Instead of gaining more freedom with marijuana, we are moving closer to prohibiting tobacco. Our prisons are already bursting with non-violent drug offenders. How long will it be before a black market in tobacco fills the prisons with non-violent cigarette smokers?

Hemp and tobacco were staple crops for our founding fathers when our country was new. It is baffling to see how far removed from real freedom this country has become since then. Hemp, even for industrial uses, of which there are many, is illegal to grow at all. Now tobacco will have more layers of bureaucracy and interference piled on top of it. In this economy it is extremely upsetting to see this additional squeeze put on an entire industry. One has to wonder how many smaller farmers will be forced out of business because of this bill.

– From Congressman Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk weekly radio address via YouTube.



  1. Anonymous on

    Don’t get me wrong. I clearly see the distant parallels to cannabis prohibition, and, ultimately believe that a person should have the choice to do as they wish – provided they aren’t harming others, or excessively burdening the health-care system. But, purchasing and operating a vehicle is in no way comparable to a quantifiably-known, harmful (deadly), substance that is a clear burden on health-care; unlike cannabis, clearly. You’re not garunteed to harm yourself while driving, or doing factory-work, for that matter. Also, working in a factory is by no means the same as cigarette smoking, whether it “spews out toxic smoke” (How “toxic”? Proven as “toxic” and deadly as cigarettes? Probably not, otherwise we’d have a much higher factory-worker death-toll), or not. Believe me, I’m not a backwards thinker, at all; quite the contrary. I like Ron’s way of thinking – less government intervention in almost all aspects; but, let’s be honest. Pick your battles, Ron. Cigarettes are harmful, period. Lastly, I’m not naive enough to believe that cannabis legalization will be held-up considerably, or thwarted, due to any tobacco clamp-down, or ban; that’s nonsense. That’s just my opinion, though. Don’t take it too personally, Worm.

  2. herb smoker on

    haha tobacco deserves some oppression.

  3. Anonymous on

    the advertising thing is debatable. consumers rights are important too and companies can easily mislead the population in their ads by saying their products are safer than what we’ve been taught.

    but if laws like these pass, it is an outlook on what a legal environment for cannabis will look like. sure it being legal will be great and all, but at what cost? i’d really hate to see the marijuana industry deceive the population in any way in their advertisements. worse, i’d hate to see them put additives and taint what was once a pure plant.

    i also don’t see anything wrong with an inspections agency performing quality controls on products. we do this for electronics and food, why must cigarettes be an exception?

    any act using ‘children’ or ‘family’ as an excuse for its approval is quite likely deceptive bullshit.

  4. Worm on

    So is that the case with everyone that buys a car as well or works in a factory that spews out toxic smoke? It is that backwards thinking that is why prohibition is still around today. Don’t forget to sign your waiver the next time you go eat at a fast food restaurant.


    Peace and Pot

  5. Anonymous on

    I say legalize it all and make laws that prohibit the use of drugs outside your own home. Tobacco smells like burning dog turds, keep that crap inside your own home. Cannabis smells great, but it too should be legal to use in your own home, just like alcohol.

    Do you guys see how this country is turning into a police/prison state? As each year passes, more and more of our rights are being eliminated. It won’t be long before we are required to walk only on paved surfaces and arrested for taking a walk in the woods.

    What I would love to know is who are the ignorant twits who keep re-electing the jackasses that are ruining our so-called freedom? Innocent until proven guilty is a lie. The bill of rights is about to go bye-bye.

    Wake the hell up America. Uncle Sam will be buying your children from you before too long.

  6. Anonymous on

    Personally, I wouldn’t shed a tear if commercial tobacco were outlawed; an individual should be forced to sign a waiver stating that they will pay their own medical costs in order to purchase it. I don’t want to pay for your stupidity.

  7. Anonymous on

    revolution to a neighbor hood close to you