Cigarette warning labels

Cigarette warning labels


NY Times Link…

  • Agnostick

    Warning labels? Meh.

    Bigger, better question: Why is the government willing to sanction, subsidize, and tax nicotine addicts and nicotine users? Why not do the same for marijuana, cocaine, heroin?

    If a crack addict lights up a crack pipe out on the sidewalk, they’ll get thrown in the jail by the first cop that sees them… but if a nicotine addict lights up a cigarette out on the sidewalk, all is fine and dandy.


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  • Chris

    well there’s a bit of difference between crack and MJ, but yes it is hypocritical. The reality is, about at the very least MJ, that a lot of people and companies make a lot of money over the “drug war”. Enough so that it’s an industry and one that won’t go quietly when it’s obvious that it’s harming the country more than people smoking pot ever could.

  • kranky kritter

    I think the status of America’s primary legal recreational drugs can be accounted for by cultural tradition. Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol are what we’re used to, and that’s why they remain legal. If marijuana and crack had been common 500 years ago in mainstream western culture, they might be legal now.

    Alcohol is by far the most damaging of these if you count the social cost and not just health effects. And when that was made illegal, people simply didn’t stand for it. Alcohol is quite possibly not the most intrinsically harmful. Smoking? Sure seems like it curtails the lifespan on average, but at least it doesn’t lead to wife-beating and child neglect. One could probably make a pretty strong case that most of alcohol’s damage comes from its status as legal and culturally accepted.

    Think about it. Imagine that the status of alcohol and pot were reversed. We’d have pot ads during the super bowl, and mothers against stoned driving, a cazillion brands of pot with different potencies, and large numbers of Americans using up their leisure time as ineffectual layabouts.

    There would be a small activist culture shopping medical booze and insisting that booze is actually a better option than pot because… . Not that far fetched.

    And yeah sure, any industry in its right mind would oppose being made illegal. But it’s a mistake to jump from that to the silly implication that industry is stopping a righteous change that most everyone else wants.

    I hope that many folks on both the right and on the left are reaching a point where they are overestimating the public’s remaining appetite for government paternalism. I hope that the problem for would-be paternalists in both wings is that more and more folks won’t stand for more prohibition. I hope folks act on the natural preference to make their own decisions about what’s best for them, and so value preserving such rights for everyone else.

    I just don’t think that we as a culture will be able to successfully dictate the way towards a better world where people are nicer to each other and make sounder personal decisions. In essence, the way of the overweening paternalist is to proscribe individuals from keeping their power to make any decision that the masses have shown they are unable to make in the “right” way, on average.

    If the only way we can have a world where people don’t gamble, overeat, eat bad things, drink, smoke, and indulge other personal vices is to ban those practices, are we bound and determined to make such virtues mandatory? And if we do, what’s the meaning of virtue without personal choice?

  • Chris

    That’s quite the ramble, but just a point here:
    “Marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942 and was prescribed for various conditions including labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism.”
    Just a point that it has been around a long time, but there were other factors that led to it being classified as a schedule 1 narcotic.

  • kranky kritter

    Who said it wasn’t around for a long time? I said it wasn’t common in mainstream use compared to the other items I mentioned: coffee, cigarettes, booze.

    This is not to say that it wasn’t subject to demonization. So was booze.

    The point was, and is, that it’s harder to demonize and prohibit something that’s well-known and commonly used. Comparatively speaking, pot wasn’t.

    Much of the success in demonizing pot was due to the public’s comparative lack of familiarity with it. When folks are unfamiliar with x, opponents of x have an easier time filling in the blanks and convincing folks that x is bad. When folks know a good deal about x, it’s much harder for opponents of x to sway already established views.

    That’s a pretty uncontroversial take, don’t you think Chris?