The following is a commentary I submitted for an article concerning tobacco tax and consumption:
Second hand smoke has never been scientifically proven – false. While cigarette smoking is certainly harmful to health over long period – so is homosexuality, but government promotes their behavior. Homosexual activities has caused an increase in AIDS disease and other social problems, but no one is punishing them with high taxes or telling them they cannot exercise their freedom of choice. Excuses for mass abortion in America sponsored by America is that it is the woman’s right because it is her body – yet smokers are told their right to their body is not acceptable – punished by overtaxing tobacco products. Already this attitude that government is required to engineer society is filtering into fast foods and what type of vehicle is driven, as well as soft drinks considered harmful.
Freedom of choice is an important liberty, and its price is accepting responsibility for our choices. It is not up to the government or some special interest group to control lives of citizens. If it does so in one area, it must do so in all areas. Smokers pay more in insurance premiums, et cetera. Maybe there should be an added income tax for homosexuals because they are susceptible to AIDS or told they cannot have same sex in motels/hotels or be allowed in restaurants where they may show affections in public – just as smokers are harassed. Private businesses like restaurants, taverns and motel/hotel have solved the problem on their own – they either ban smoking (their right as owners of private property) or divide areas for smoking and non-smoking. Ultimately, it is the decision of the private sector – not government who makes laws just because someone thinks a law should be legislated because they are against something – totally overriding the rights of others.
Smoking or purchase of tobacco is allowed only at a certain age. That should be the only regulation. It is up to parents to ensure that their children do not start the habit of using tobacco – not government. Over taxing tobacco is just another excuse to collect more taxes to pay for over spending. Plain and simple. Government never has the attitude they must cut back on expenses, but instead just increase taxes – never reforming themselves to a proper budget, like the private sector is forced to do.
It is high time that American groups and government stop being hypocritical and selective when it comes to rights and liberties.