THE UN CAMPAIGN FOR A GLOBAL ANTI-TOBACCO TREATY:
LIGHT'M UP UNTIL THE UN SAYS YOU CAN'T
By Alan Caruba
Among the many freedoms the United Nations is seeking to take away from you is the right to light up a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. So you may be surprised that, in May, 2003, the Bush administration announced it would drop its objections to a global anti-tobacco treaty and would, in fact, support the treaty. Having demonstrated how "irrelevant" it is, apparently George W. Bush believes the UN will succeed in en- forcing a ban that affects 1.6 billion people worldwide. This is so idiotic it requires a response.
Naturally, all this is being done for our "own good." We ordinary, common, stupid people who want to smoke, despite having been amply warned, must be stopped. Since the legal settlement of the issue in the courts, the number of adults who smoke fell less than 1.5 percent. This tiny change, however, does not reflect the fact that an estimated 53 million Americans exercise their right to smoke. In order to avoid huge taxes, many have turned to the Internet to purchase cigarettes, causing the states of the American federal union to lose still more anticipated income.
Criminal gangs are getting into the cigarette business. One Michigan gang used the proceeds to fund terrorists in Beirut. Another form of thievery is the way American state governments' spending on anti-smoking programs, part of the settlement, has never really materialized, but if you invested in tobacco company stocks, profits and prices are up! If you think the "War on Drugs" is a failure (and it is), you haven't seen anything until the "War on Tobacco" is waged. This kind of prohibition is doomed to failure.
Jeremy Bulow, a Stanford University business school professor and former chief economist for the Federal Trade Commission called the settlement morally and intellectually corrupt. "It is a gross antitrust violation. In any other industry, it wouldn't be allowed." And it was totally counter-productive. The ban on television advertising of cigarettes saved the tobacco companies from having to spend billions to compete with each other.
Rarely mentioned is the fact that neither the United Nations, the United States of America, nor any other entity has the legitimate right to stop people from smoking. The tobacco industry is engaged in a totally legal enterprise. If the U.S. Supreme Court can protect the right of homosexuals to privately engage in consensual sex, surely anyone has the right to light up.
The UN program is just one more way that this invidious international bureaucracy seeks to spread its tentacles. First you ban cigarettes, then you take away guns, then you tell everyone they have to have an identification card in order to hold a job, travel anywhere, get medical care, get married or divorced, and, eventually, have more than one child. It is classic Communist totalitarianism, seeking to control the most personal and intimate aspects of everyone's life.
Let's look at how it works closer to home. Florida's Amendment 6 is a statewide smoking ban adopted by voter initiative that approves government force to prohibit business owners from allowing their customers to smoke in their establishments. As such, it determines the use of private property. (Under Communism, there is no right to private ownership of property.) The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that "The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissi- tudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and of- ficials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts." (West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette, 319 US 624, 1943.)
If individual states may not ban smoking in public places without running afoul of the U.S. Constitution, why would the Bush administration endorse a United Nations initiative to ban the enjoyment of tobacco products? It defies any sensible or legal explanation.
For many years now, those opposed to anyone's right to smoke have introduced one restriction after another in order to deny people this personal lifestyle decision. As the noted columnist, George Will, noted in May, 2003, "tobacco policy radiates con- tempt for law. Cynical lawmaking produced the $246 billion settlement of an extor- tionate suit by 46 state governments against major tobacco companies, purportedly as recompense for smoking-related health care costs."
This occurred despite the fact that states benefit greatly from smoking by levying heavy taxes on tobacco products, while, at the same time, reaping savings in reduced spending on public welfare, pensions for public employees, and nursing home care for persons who die prematurely from smoking-related diseases! In short, state gov- ernments have a big stake in the fact that people still choose to smoke.
By the way, everything you have heard about the effects of "second-hand smoke" is hogwash. If you don't want to be around people who want to have a smoke in a res- taurant or bar, stay home or patronize "smoke free" establishments. If you don't want to smoke, don't. If you want to quit, do it. Millions have. But the government cannot legally impose its mandates on either the tobacco industry or its consumers. During Prohibition, the ban on liquor proved to be a dismal and totally unsuccesful social experiment because people wanted to drink!
This issue has implications far beyond the simple pleasure that tobacco provides. In the end, it is about freedom. And freedom always has its enemies.
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, Communications Director of the American Policy Center, and Founder of the Na- tional Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs," posted on the Inter- net website of the National Anxiety Center (www.anxietycenter.com). A compilation of his past columns, entitled Warning Signs, is published by Merril Press. In addi- tion to Warning Signs, Caruba is the author of A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam and The United Nations vs. the United States, both of which are available from the Na- tional Anxiety Center, 9 Brookside Road, Maplewood, New Jersey, 07040.
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor