Why Non-Smokers Should Defend Tobacco Rights

September 30, 2012

Just had a talk with someone who thinks tobacco is deadly so it should be banned. He’s not alone. The anti-smoking movement has, of course, become a mostly political campaign set to tax or even ban tobacco altogether. The arguments for bans and taxes are that it’s unhealthy and kills people. The pro-ban camp seems to believe they somehow justify an outright ban if they can prove it’s a poor choice. But the anti-smokers miss the most basic concept of freedom itself.

You don’t have the right to smoke tobacco because it’s healthy. You have the right to smoke tobacco because you have the right to make every health decision for yourself. It’s your body, your life, and your liberty.

It’s about the freedom to live your life on your terms — not about the government making sure you make the right choices. It’s about your rights, not about living up to a politician’s standards. The debate isn’t over whether it’s healthy or whether it kills people. We know it does. So does an unhealthy diet and not exercising. That doesn’t mean government diets are a good idea. That doesn’t mean the government should regulate meals I can buy. That doesn’t mean the government should have mandated exercise.

The Logic Leads To Government Diets 

Those are personal issues that I should take care of personally. It’s about personal responsibility, and yes, we should have the choice to do bad things.

This is not just about tobacco. The principle leads to far more. There’s a movement to ban soft drinks that are “too big”. There are taxes on alcohol. Scariest of all? A sitting Supreme Court justice has hinted that she thinks it’s constittuionally justified to create diets for everyone to use.

Remember this? This is about a sitting member of the Supreme Court suggesting the government can regulate the contents of every meal you ever eat:

” Elena Kagan, in her hearing on Tuesday, seemed to accept the federal government’s power to force you to eat three servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  She opined that it would be a “dumb law” but refused to say it was unconstitutional.”

It’s not a theoretical risk. We’re heading toward a complete nanny state that regulates every aspect of what we consume.

Screw that. I’m a free man and will live with my own choices. I’m not a child in need of incompetent fools in DC to regulate my life for my own good. And even if I was incompetent, it’s my life — not theirs.

Tobacco Taxes Hurt The Poor The Most

Those who are anti-tobacco and support regulating food for the “good” of the person consuming the food are generally those who presumably are “for” the poor. And yet these taxes are the most regressive on earth, because a couple of extra bucks a day for someone who can barely pay rent is insanity.

Even then, many claim that tobacco products are addictive, so it’s not fair to sell them. But if that’s true, then how is it fair to make them more expensive through tobacco taxes? I thought the people couldn’t help themselves? That’s pointlessly cruel. Of course, it was never about helping the poor or the unhealthy — it was just about controlling them. Down with the nanny fascists.

Those who claim it’s justified to use violence to stop you will not end with tobacco. They’ll go the Bloomberg and Michelle Obama route and try to regulate diets in general.

And anyone who can’t decide what he has to eat when he can afford it isn’t a free man. He’s just a slave begging for healthy scraps from his master’s table.

Down with the nanny state on every level.

This isn’t about tobacco being healthy. This is about liberty itself. If you smoke or don’t, you should be passionate about smoker’s rights.

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