The powers that be would like to ban the sale of tobacco in the town and many people are angry. Strangely enough in these risk averse times where everything we do must be child centric, the angry people are not the tobacco controllers and public health activists, crying out for a ban in order to protect the children, the angry folk are normal American people, smokers and non-smokers alike, who are protesting against the very idea of the ban in order to protect American values of civil liberty and freedom of choice.
It seems Tobacco Control have gone one ban to far, at least for now. There's always another ban or restriction on the horizon with Public Health. They will never be satisfied, they will never consider their work to be done. Whatever they achieve, there is always something more just around the corner.
This is why the following quote from the linked article peaked my curiosity:
But Westminster would be the first in the state and nation with a full-blown ban on selling all tobacco and nicotine products. The idea originated with the Board of Health, which says it has a moral obligation to try to stop young people from smoking. The board found it hard to keep up with all the new products, like bubblegum-flavored cigars and strawberry-margarita-flavored tobacco, many of them aimed at hooking young people.
“We have a whack-a-mole-effect,” Joan Hamlett, the town’s tobacco control agent, said at the hearing Wednesday night before it was cut short. “Every 18 months since 1994, this Westminster Board of Health has been looking at different regulations because every time we work together to find a way to reduce youth access to tobacco, the tobacco industry comes out with a new product that we have to look at and address and figure out how to regulate.”
Tobacco is already the most heavily regulated consumer product in human history, yet these people look at every new emerging variant and assume even further regulation is required. They talk about emerging tobacco products as though their only purpose is to target young and vulnerable children and get them addicted to nicotine.
The truth is, bubblegum flavoured cigars, strawberry flavoured tobacco and such, are simply the result of an industry varying it's product base to account for changing tastes and emerging technologies. Tobacco Control would have us believe that adults do not enjoy bubblegum or strawberries?
Tobacco Control are totally hooked on ever more imaginative restrictions and bans lobbied for almost constantly, yet they look to the Tobacco Companies and use the term. "Whack a Mole".
There was a public meeting in this small USA town to discuss the proposed tobacco sales ban, yet the depth of feeling against the proposal from the towns people, was so strong that the meeting had to cancelled and the proposers escorted out by the police for their own safety.
Any normal person would conclude that this proposal was not wanted by the electorate and should be immediately scrapped. Normal is not a word that can easily be associated with Tobacco Control. Their answer was to take submissions by letter rather than a face to face meeting. You see they want their ban; the public meeting was a washout, but they may still be able to get it if all their friends and Government lobbyists start a letter writing campaign.
The Tobacco Industry is not the the "Whack a Mole", it's the Tobacco Control Moles that keep popping up.
It began with no smoking carriages on trains, slowly morphed into a complete smoking ban in pubs that put many of them out of business and is now a complete ban on sales. Every time a new ban or restriction is touted, freedom loving people who have had enough, have to mobilise to fight it. Every time. Most of the time, the Tobacco Control Moles win. Sometimes we get a reprieve or a result of our own, but it's never permanent. If the Tobacco control Moles don't get what they want, they will fall back, regroup and try again later and they will keep trying until they win.
Among the hundreds of protesters at the hearing, at least two people — doctors — supported the ban. Dr. Corey Saltin and Dr. Payam Aghassi, lung specialists who have a private practice nearby, said that they understood concerns about free choice but that people who are subjected to secondhand smoke have rights, too.
“This ban is going to happen somewhere, sometime,” Dr. Saltin predicted. “But probably not in Westminster.”
You see they won't stop, they can't stop. The good people of Westminster, Massachusetts, may well win this battle, but the issue will not go away. The Tobacco Control Moles will crop up again in another small USA town and propose the same. They will keep doing it until they get a win and from that win, more and more bans will come into place.
Every time the Tobacco Control Moles crop up, people who understand what freedom of choice and freedom to live without state control will be there to try to whack them. The trouble is, there are way too many moles and they keep coming back after every whacking.
Fighting the Tobacco Control Moles is a never ending task. We fight the same fight and the same people over and over again, in many places over all the time. We win once, we still haven't won because we have to do it all again and again.
Them? They only need to win once. Nobody ever goes back to vote on a ban or restriction once it's in place. When it's there, it's never going away.
Who's the mole here?