20 JUNE 1997 The U.S. tobacco industry, state attorneys general, representatives of the public health community, and plaintiffs' attorneys crafted a proposal that would transform the way tobacco products are regulated, manufactured, marketed, and sold in the United States.
Are your interests represented by any of these groups?
The compromise is now pending before the Congress and debate has begun in full. The stated central aim of this legislation is to achieve dramatic and immediate reductions in the number of underage consumers of tobacco products.
Under Title II, that proposal calls for "...imposing substantial surcharges on the manufactures" of tobacco products by the Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA), "in the event that underage tobacco-use reduction targets are not achieved."
Common sense tells us that these surcharges will be passed on to us, the consumers of tobacco products. The tobacco companies have nothing to lose! In other words, we will be expected to pay the penalty for illegal teenage activity, while having absolutely no control over it. We might not even be acquainted with teenagers who manage to buy tobacco products in spite of probable adult orders not to. We might not even be acquainted with the adults who "lay down the law", let alone have any control of the adults who don't! In essence, this proposal imposes "taxation without representation"!
This proposed legislation requires that underage use of cigarette products must decline by at least 30% from estimated levels over the last decade by the fifth year after the legislation takes effect, by at least 50% from estimated levels over the last decade by the seventh year after the legislation takes effect, by at least 60% from estimated levels over the last decade by the tenth year after the legislation takes effect.
So, say the legislation takes effect this year. That means in 2003, if the tobacco companies haven't been able to reduce teenage rebellion against long existing tobacco sales laws by 30%, people who continue to smoke after their retirement this year, will be paying more for their cigarettes from their reduced retirement income. Young adults, who have chosen to continue smoking, will be paying a higher price for their cigarettes during their early struggling years. It seems to me this legislation is designed to eliminate smoking altogether.
The now ex-US Surgeon General, Koop, is on record as having suggested to an anti-smoking group that cigarette tax be raised to the point nobody could afford to buy them. Is this legislation designed to fulfill the anti-smokers' dream of a completely smoke-free society? Is this YOUR dream?
You can see the rest of this resolution and other particulars on-line at http://www.tobaccoresolution.com/index1.html.
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At Home with Lyndelle
created 11:36 3/29/98 by Lyndelle McCoy, email@example.com
last modified 02:43 04/21/99