We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We know cigarettes kill millions every year. This isn't arguable or a case of insufficient evidence it is an absolute fact. What does government do in response? Raise taxes. Which is more addicting; cigarettes or taxes to politicians? A logical choice would have been to shut down the tobacco industry completely. Yes, I know it was tried with alcohol and was a disaster. So my point is if cigarettes are provable a couple million times more harmful then sodas are why the same "punishment" or fix or whatever you want to call it. Probably sodas cause no harm what so ever and the reason they are hated is because the elite, like Bloomberg, don't indulge in them. It would see to me that IF we wanted to improve public health by advising or forcing people to consume or not consume specific things that we must first:
1. Know for sure that something is harmful and not just urban legend or someone's pet agenda (as sodas seem to be).
2. Rate the risk so we don't put stone cold killers like cigarettes on the same level as a soda. What could possibly be going through someone's mind to ban or tax sodas because they are so bad but allow cigarettes?
It's not the money from taxes, but the Danegeld governments can extort from the tobacco industry in return for a license to continue selling their toxic product. The way governments behave these days, extorting money from all sorts of companies (JP Morgan being just the latest), real life has gotten to be like a chapter ripped from the pages of The Godfather. Personally, I think it's none of my business if someone wants to end his life prematurely by smoking or taking drugs or base jumping, as long as I don't have to pay for the consequences of that risky behavior through socialized health care. But that train has already left the station, now hasn't it? It's going to get worse with Obamacare, so it's a damn good thing I'm so old I won't be around to see the whole house of cards collapse.
I am a non-smoker. I am proud of it and incredibly happy that I choose not to smoke. In the last 5 years we lost my father in law. It took him four years before the cancer killed him but happily most of that time was pain free and relatively good times for him and the family. The last three months were no fun and my wife took care of him until his death. Within a year we lost my mother in law to cancer too. Her diagnoses was not early and when she was finally diagnosed until her death was a mere 9 months. She went fairly peacefully and was only bedridden for the last ten days of her life. Then we lost the sister of an ex mother in law my children's aunt. Her death was not easy, lots of pain and emotion. A year later we lost the ex mother in law. My son took care of her in her last months. It was not too bad, some pain and suffering but they have such great pain killers now that mostly she just laid in bed all day. All died of smokers lung cancer but it had metastasized to their brain and that is what killed them. Probably for the best in each case they just stopped breathing and left this world. No coughing up their lungs or serious suffering. That's the legacy of smoking; death in your 60's just when your grandchildren and great grandchildren are needing you most. Just when you are about to retire and enjoy travel and getting together with your bothers and sisters and old school friends. Too soon for those who love you and miss you. Sad...
H.L. Mencken described public health as ‘the corruption of medicine by morality . BTW, nobody knows what causes cancer. The causal mechanism and eitology are unknown. The National Cancer Institute has spent over 40 years and billions of taxpayer dollars trying to find out what causes cancer. They ghave not succeeded. Check out the next to last paragraph.