Smoking Kills

I smoked one summer while in college (I “blamed” it on stress). I also stopped smoking — stress or not. My family has a history of smoking — I blame it for killing my mom, grandmom and others. It is evident that smoking kills-no guessing or speculating. A report from Tobacco Free Kids states, “ Tobacco kills more than 480,000 people annually — more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined. Tobacco costs the U.S. approximately $170 billion in health care expenditures and more than $150 billion in lost productivity each year.” We know first- and second-hand smoke is hazardous to our health, but, Have you heard of an instance where where smoking was banned? Yet, we have this urgent message from the White House:

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It’s no mystery that tobacco kill people. Guns are killing daily, too. So, where is the political action?

Decades of data from around the world have produced the same warnings, yet tobacco remains an untouchable king. We have folks panicking about six people dying from inhaling from the new, sexy replacement for stinky cigarettes while thousands of smokers are dying daily?

We have to ask if this a ploy by the tobacco industry lobbyists to demonize their competition? The governor of Michigan has bans flavored e-cigarettes because they “lure” kids — yet, no ban on tobacco products.

If you’re waiting for the ban on regular cigarettes, you’ll see that when guns are banned in America. Both kill people, but lobbyists have mastered the are of only demonizing certain preventable deaths.

In the eyes of tobacco folk, only vaping is evil. Products that found to harm or killed kids and adults — like e-cigarettes — are subject to recall or ban. Cigarettes harm/kill people. Guns harm/kill people. Cigarettes are no less cancerous when you turn 18 or 21. Yet, the CDC — a federal agency — is only urging people to stop vaping. Meanwhile, cancer caused by tobacco is killing thousands daily. No recall. No ban.

Face it, e-cigarettes are direct competition to the tobacco industry. They are the latest tech threat to another industry. And, their lobbyists don’t appear to be as influential as gun or tobacco lobbyists.

Some suspect, though, that there is tax revenue lost from lower cigarette sales: In Michigan, “Cigarettes are taxed at a rate of $2.00 per pack while other tobacco products are taxed at 32% of the wholesale price. … The SAF receives about 37.7% of all tobacco tax revenue. Approximately 19.2% of cigarette tax revenue is earmarked to the General Fund. The GF receives about 19.8% of all tobacco tax revenue.” No state has rejected tax revenue that is generated by a product that kills.

To cite deaths from “black market” products as rationale for banning all legitimate vape products is suspicious. Thousands of tobacco related deaths, following YEARS of research and a dire warning from America’s doctors (decades of Surgeon General warnings), hasn’t led to a ban on cigarettes-ever.

“Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.”

Why are cigarettes still readily available again?

I invite you to take 2 to 5 minutes for a glimpse of what I think about issues of the day. Nonpartisan, yet, some might not agree - just don’t be disagreeable.

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