How About Prescription Tobacco Products?


cigarette

cigarette (Photo credit: Fried Dough)

Opinion

I read where some legislator in Oregon has introduced a bill into the Oregon State law-making machinery that would make cigarettes the same as a drug and that a prescription from a physician would be required to get them.

The bill is reported to be calling for some pretty hefty fines for illegal possession and even up to a year in the pen if what I am reading is true.

Well, I have heard some stuff in my life but this one comes pretty close to taking the cake in my opinion.

Imagine some inmate in a prison somewhere telling someone he or she is in for “smoking!”

“O’er the land of the free . . . .and the home of the . . .brave…”

I smoked for more than 60 years and when all the “pure-hearts” and what I considered to be the “do gooders” who I thought wanted nothing less than to tell everyone else how to live their lives started agitating to make smoking illegal in as many places as they could, I rebelled against the non-smokers because I thought, “Hell, this is America and people have been smoking since the time of the Founding and now some bunch of health nuts wants to steal yet another freedom from the Land of The Free?

At this point in my life, I have kind of let off the irritation against the invasiveness of one group wanting to make everyone else bend to their will about the smoking issue because, with the help of the “patch,” a VA nurse who was patient as an angel and 8 weeks of agonized hell, I finally quit smoking three years ago.

But I still feel like I have to support the right to smoke for those who choose to do so and who are of legal age  and I do not think it is right that a bunch of in-your-face arrogant do-goodies who want to dominate everything – - who want all the freedoms for themselves and don’t seem to want anyone else to have any can get away with passing laws to force their wills onto the majority.

But then again, I guess it must be a majority who votes these things in because nothing can win in an election in America without a majority vote, right?  Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Nevertheless, I can see a righteous motivation even in the midst of what I consider to be a power grab – - – after all, smoking is not healthful at all according to most experts and according to some other “experts” can be seriously damaging.

I guess I am kind of in the middle on that question even though I chose to quit and I feel a lot better about having done so – - – even though I did gain 25 extra pounds that I can’t seem to get rid of – - but maybe I have done myself some good.  Time will tell.

As I look back on my own decision to quit, it now looks more and more to me like I made the choice between dying of a possible smoking-related disease or from getting too damned fat and filling up with cholesterol and plopping over in a stroke or a heart attack or something.

It’s kind of like trying to use both sides of toilet tissue in a manner of speaking as far as I am concerned.

So my first question about making tobacco into a “Prescription” drug is this:

“What kind of physician would prescribe cigarettes or other tobacco products to patients knowing all the hell that has been raised about how dangerous the substance can be?

That is question number one in my mind.

The second question is, “If they make tobacco into a controlled substance ( a drug) would that open up a whole new field of opportunity for criminal types to get a larger market share of the illicit drug business?  Say what?  Duhhh!

It is almost a sure bet that cigarettes would never be prescribed for lung ailments (in my opinion only and I am no qualified health professional) – so can someone tell me exactly which of our multitude of physical ailments these things might be prescribed  for?

Now if some state were to actually get tobacco classified as a controlled substance ( a prescription-only drug) would it pass muster with The American Food and Drug Administration and local health authorities to the point where the prescriptions could actually be written?

Couldn’t the radical right who is always and forever bitching and screaming about less government interference into individual lives have a case against such restrictions as these and would the right wing be split over the issue – - those who smoke opposing the passage of such a law and those who don’t smoke being in favor because it is “What Gee-Zuss” would do or something like that?

The next question becomes for me, “What happens when some bright law-maker takes a look at the loss in tax revenues that such a law would cause?  Would the lure of the almighty dollar be enough to make sure such a law never got out of committee?”   Duhhhhh!

I’m pretty much a person who supports most of the things my government does, but I do fear sometimes that maybe  the government can get a little “over-reachy” as they seem to be putting the “criminal” tag on more and more things these days.

Well I have no idea where this kind of thinking can go to and I certainly don’t know where it comes from, but it sounds a little far right wing to me because I think if it were up to Liberals, democrats and progressives, they would probably decide that smoking is not all that good for folks, but I doubt if they would start messing around with individual freedoms concerning the issue by trying to pass what I consider to be “one size fits all” laws about it.

I got a great idea – - – let’s make smoking anything at all illegal and let’s institute a fresh air tax so that everyone who breathes is made to pay their fare share.  Imagine the boost to the national economy that would make possible.

Let’s get a law passed that says the only time smoking is legal is when someone is on fire.

Right? (Snark!)

While we are at it, how about a fat tax on food items and let’s start the investigation to see whether or not sugar can be classed as a drug too. (sugar is said to be addictive and has its own health effects according to some who are supposed to know that they are talking about.)

Posted by John Liming

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