Ebola, ISIS, Boko Haram, global economic crises, homelessness, rogue states with nuclear weapons: which of these issues is so important that the United Nations is pushing for a new tax to help pay to deal with the problem? None. They’re going after cigarettes, again.
In a secret session, the United Nations’ health wing, the World Health Organization (WHO), resolved to increase taxes on cigarettes worldwide. The Washington Times reports that the United States did not participate in the meeting, held in Moscow, as a protest against Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine.
An interesting footnote to the meeting: the press were barred from entering the room. I guess something as important as global taxation on cigarettes must be a very sensitive topic. The proposal could result in a sharp increase in taxes and the price of cigarettes in all major nations, excluding only the United States, Switzerland, and Indonesia.
For some reason, people still equate raising taxes with reduced use. Perhaps these bureaucrats do not consider illegal cigarette purchases, but I digress.
The whole strategy is premised on the notion that cigarettes are morally reprehensible — hence the need for “sin” taxes.
The whole strategy is premised on the notion that cigarettes are morally reprehensible — hence the need for “sin” taxes — and second-hand smoke is particularly problematic. Perhaps the United Nations will seek to tax legal cigarette trade into extinction, although we would simply have an even larger black-market problem.
However, it is a misconception to say that tobacco increases medical costs and burdens public health more so than countless other legal products or activities. In fact, a recent study found no link between second-hand smoke and cancer, and the Cato Institute calls the second-hand smoke scare a “charade.”
It is a lie that enables the nanny-state. If automobile exhaust doesn’t worry or bother you, nor should second-hand smoke.
If automobile exhaust doesn’t worry or bother you, nor should second-hand smoke.
It all begs the question, when will smokers and those who realize what is actually going on stand up and say, enough! Every call for smokers to unite appears to fall on deaf ears. Smokers have passively absorbed each new usurpation by anti-freedom lobbies and their political lap dogs.
The same people who lobbied against smoking are now banning trans-fats, sodas of a certain size, and unapproved lunches in schools. As I have written before, every time you give government power over something you hate, you give it power over something you love. It isn’t a slippery slope, it is historical fact.
Each new constitution is designed, at least in part, to repair the damage of the previous one. That is why the constitution I propose for an independent Puerto Rico repeals all smoking laws and taxes on cigarettes. The only exception is to maintain bans near explosive gases or in places that represent the same kind of direct, immediate, and serious threat to public safety.
The proposed constitution also provides greater clarity on the power of property owners to determine what can or cannot occur on their property. In effect, this makes any future bans on smoking in privately owned areas null and void.
If you are a smoker and a US citizen and are tired of constantly being on the defensive, or if you understand that the nanny state must come to an end, then you must sign the petition for Puerto Rico independence. The petition is attached to the proposed constitution and will create a place where smokers and non-smokers have a choice, and no one can use government to enforce their own petty preferences.
Edited by Guillermo Jimenez and Fergus Hodgson.