Welcome class. It’s time for another installment of “Common Sense 101.”
If my memory is correct, it was my father who years ago taught me that using a little common sense would go a long way in helping you venture down this road of life.
Unfortunately, not enough people follow the advice my father handed down to me as a youngster. Politicians especially are prime examples of those who are lacking when it comes to common sense.
The latest indication of this comes in the news that broke last week concerning more government regulations on tobacco. Government has milked the golden cow of tobacco so much now that I truly wonder how the industry is still alive.
The regulations placed on the industry (of which a strong argument could be said are unconstitutional) have strangled what was once a powerful, 100 percent legal, industry in this country. While tobacco sales remain stronger in Europe and other overseas markets, the scope placed on the tobacco industry in this country by big government has threatened free enterprise like nothing we have ever seen. The trigger was just pulled again recently.
It’s odd when you think about how the alcohol industry receives such a pass. We see commercial after commercial for beer companies, friends out having a good time drinking it up, despite the fact the DUI rate is as high as ever. People are killed daily by drunk drivers yet a pass is usually given to someone who is driving under the influence.
Television ads for cigarettes ended in 1970, yet 40 years later alcohol still is able to showcase its business on a daily basis. Watch any sporting event or programming aimed at a male audience and you see them. Personally, I don’t care if alcohol companies advertise on television but what’s the difference between alcohol being advertised on television and tobacco products being shown? Only in a politician’s mind is there one.
The latest news is that tobacco companies will no longer be able to make “light” cigarettes. The making of the candy cigarettes are also being outlawed although it should be noted that tobacco companies do not manufacture these. In fact, I haven’t even seen candy cigarettes in stores since I was a child. I have seen a piece of a bubble gum shaped like a cigar, but are you trying to convince me that is going to convince a child to light up a Macanudo?
It seems some politicians are not going to be satisfied until tobacco is outlawed completely. Of course, history tells us prohibition did not work in this country. In fact, it was a complete disaster with a major crime element rise as a result of it. The same would agree with a black market for cigarettes.
It’s all about common sense, which our elected officials often times go out of their way to show just how little they have. Only someone who has lived in a cave for the past 50 years would not realize the dangers of tobacco. If you chose to partake in it, then you accept the risks associated with the practice.
However, for our government to play the role of “big brother” and to decide larger warning labels are needed on a pack of cigarettes or on a can of Copenhagan is a complete waste of why our officials were elected in the first place. With the economy still in the tank, don’t they have more important things to worry about than if I, or you, buy a pack of Marlboros or if a certain brand of smokes is menthol flavored?
It all goes back to common sense, or a lack of it.
Chris Bridges is an editor with MainStreet Newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.