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Old March 20th, 2009, 12:14 AM
Hajo Flettner
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Hookah Legend
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,746
Default Re: Comming Ban on Flavoured Tobacco

Originally Posted by stolenbythesky View Post
I was talking about tobacco bans in general, not flavored. They CERTAINLY don't have a stranglehold on Congress, but if the past is any proof of politics, it won't happen. The smoking populous of the US has been stalled at 21% since 2007, and admittedly, between 1990 and 2007 it dropped dramatically. I still don't think this bill is realistic in any manner, despite the save the children rhetoric. 1/5 of the U.S. population is not going to be stopped by a Congressional bill, not to mention the tobacco industry in the US alone has a minimum $2billion REVENUE yearly. That's minus every worker and executive's paycheck. It's like the drug war. They can try, but they won't succeed. Prohibition of tobacco in restaurants, public places, etc, has not shown any impact on tobacco sales at large. I don't deny the significant damage previous bills have done to smoker's rights. To be completely honest, I think most of these bills are plainly and simply beneficial. People should know the dangers of smoking and should be reminded of them. Tobacco companies should pay for those warnings. Tobacco should not be available to minors. I don't like that I can't smoke in restaurants, but it's only fair to non-smokers. The industry thrives irregardless.

Some Congressional officials are convinced that flavored tobacco appeals more to kids than non-flavored, I'm not. I think it's much more of the light in which we present adult topics to adolescents, and more importantly, the way Congress presents adult topics to citizens at large.

EDIT: I just realized I said it hasn't shown any impact on tobacco sales, what I meant was any truly significant impact. Came off as a bit foolish.
EDIT 2: To be completely honest, I'm probably not well read enough on the topic to be arguing about it, but hey, just my two cents.
A few things quickly.

1) Since this bill will only effect those American smokers that use flavoured tobacco it won't effect 21% but only a small fraction of smokers over all. The divide and conquer thing really works and this threads shows that when you read stuff like ďwho cares, it wonít effect me because it doesnít explicitly say hookah/shisha/moassel or whatever.Ē

2) The stability in the number of smokers has followed a huge drop off as you pointed out. What you did not point out is that the remaining smokers consume a lot less as a result of smoking bans, insurance denial and tax increases. Bottom line is that tobacco sales are drastically less then they were 10 years ago in all market segments save hookah stuff which is a tiny portion of the market. I could post a mountain studies on the matter itís pretty dry reading and I doubt anyone is that interested.

Basically, those outcomes were the intended ones because all the anti-tobacco policies Iíve mentioned are all about forcing people to quit. If they wanted to raise tax revenue the tax rates on tobacco would be cut and every economist worthy of the title knows it.

3) $2 billion in profits yearly on a product consumed daily by over 60 million people is pretty lousy. When you consider the ROI on even cheap cigarettes and the massive liabilities extending for at least several decades I think youíll notice why tobacco companies have been diversifying for decades and why companies like Phillip-Morris get most of their revenue and profit from non-tobacco based markets. Another thing is that most of the profit in the American tobacco industry comes from export rather then domestic sales.

4) To say that ďmost of these bills are plainly and simply beneficialĒ is simply absurd unless you think that forcing people not to smoke is plainly and simply beneficial. They havenít been beneficial financially as the tax increases have reduced consumption to such an extent that they have reduced revenue intake significantly. They havenít been beneficial in that they have forced people to do what the state demands rather then live as free men ought to be able to. I suppose you like the idea of government deciding what you should and shouldnít be able to do for your own good. I prefer being treated like an adult rather then as a peon or child and resent being denied the opportunity.

5) The comment ď People should know the dangers of smoking and should be reminded of them.Ē is simply nonsensical because the public doesnít know much at all about the actual risk factors associated with tobacco consumption or any of the economic issues related to it. Passing off sensational junk science motivated by politics as public health warnings is not educational although I realize that being in a university makes determination of such matters extremely difficult having been in the same boat before. I could recommend a lot of material that you should consider if you so wish.

6) Your notion that the tobacco industry should pay to have itís products demonized and itís customers berated is quite possibly the most outrageous suggestion I have yet heard in this thread. You see I believe that consumers shouldnít consume something they donít understand and being feed junk science by politics is mis-educational rather then vital info makes an informed decision hard to achieve . As an adult, I donít think that the state should force me to pay for ham fisted propaganda designed to stigmatize my pass time and insult my intelligence. Iíd prefer the frustrated commissars of the world having to pay to push their claptrap rather then taking public funds to do so. Even in Communist China or basically any authoritarian nation I can think of my choice to smoke is met with less social rejection, less taxes and less abuse then it is in so called democratic nations like the U.S.. If I wanted to have a nanny direct my life Iíd have stayed in a nursery and do what Iím told. Subservience is not for me but the problem is that folks like you make me and everyone else put up with and pay for it.
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