One of my less universally popular posts was the suggestion to only supply addictive cigarette products via pharmacies on the basis of medical prescriptions that depended on patients having significant cotinine levels in their urine. This proposal would eliminate cigarette consumption by the time the current generation of smokers expires since only nicotine addicts would get fags. I liked the idea of selling on the basis of a doctor’s prescription because it displayed the pathological character of nicotine addiction. In pharmacies, too, cigarettes could be sold alongside nicotine replacement therapies – a decidedly safer way of gaining a nicotine hit that again emphasized the intrinsic character of smoking as a carcinogen-producer-induced chemical addiction.
In the last few weeks a comparable policy proposal, that has distinctive virtue in terms of simplicity, is simply to prohibit sales of tobacco to all those born after the year 2000. (HT, IC).
I am happy to endorse this alternative that has the same intent as my original suggestion – to let the current lot of smokers be the last – but which operates on the basis of a simple, identifiable rule. It doesn’t convey the notion that nicotine addiction is a medical condition but has a directness that is attractive.
Cigarettes didn’t become a dominant way of consuming tobacco until after WW1. By the early 1950s it was realized that a catastrophic mistake had been made. Smoking has only lasted another 60 years because the legal carcinogen producers criminally lied their heads off about the known deadly, addictive character of their main product – and because of pre-established nicotine addictions. These criminals shortened the lives of 100 million people during the 20th century. The WHO forecast that 1 billion will die during the 21st century from tobacco-related diseases.
Good public policy should seek to end the continuance of this catastrophic product. Support life!
BTW(1) I was delighted to see during my recent exits and entries from Australian that the duty free allowance for bringing cigarettes into Australia has been reduced from 250 sticks to 50. In my original post I suggested cancelling the concession entirely (the Henry Tax Review sought a tax free quota of only 25 cigarettes) but it is still definitely a step in the right direction.
BTW(2) New Zealand seems likely to mimic Australia’s plain packaging legislation. (HT, DP). (3377)