Cigarettes…… Do we still need more regulation?

I could not believe this article when I read it. It seems that they want to once again put more regulation towards cigarettes. According to the article they hope to, “dramatically reduce tobacco marketing, to ban many flavored cigarettes, and to prohibit the labeling of cigarettes as ‘light’ or ‘low-tar.’”
Is it just me or does it seem like our government focuses way too much on cigarettes. It may be because at one time in history they freely gave them out to all the military or maybe there are stronger groups pretesting against it. I am not quite sure, but it seems to me that there are a lot more harmful things then this that seem to get no regulation.
Economically we have talked about how regulation for anything ends up hurting the economy more. Instead of banning certain cigarettes I think they should allow them and possibly just tax them more heavily and use that money to help our school systems that seem to be lacking funds. I think banning would not solve the problem, in fact I think it could be even worse. Maybe I am just a biased business student, but I don’t think that regulation is the answer in this case.

1 comment:

Dr. Tufte said...

This is pretty sensible.

Personally, I am that most aggressive breed of anti-smoker ... the former smoker. I would love to get rid of the things completely.

Having said that though, what is really going on here is a combination of the desires of control freaks to interfere in other peoples' lives, with the public distaste for a particular product. For many people, any regulation of smoking is just fine.

The problem is, we're already collecting more in taxes than the explicit and implicit measures of the harm from smoking. And, hedonic estimates suggest that smokers already overestimate the health costs of their habit, and they smoke anyway. Smoking ought to be on the list of issues that the government should just give up on. I suggest that they don't do this because it is an easy way for them to look busy - sort of like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.