The FDA says ads and packages must feature large images depicting various dangers linked to smoking

By Edward C. Garriepy Jr. | Men With Foil Hats Contributor

As I sit here and write this article, I am doing so with things that are a familiar aspect of my mornings, coffee and a cigarette.

Back in the early 70’s when I was young and a non-smoker (just an air breather), one day at elementary school, someone (an agent from the government perhaps), brought in a black lung preserved in a Plexiglas case, which was passed around from desk to desk to wide eyed kid’s horror and disgust. Remembering that blackened piece of meat has stuck with me to this day. So did the shock and awe tactic keep me from picking up this nasty and now societal stigmata? Not in the least.

I began smoking at the age of twenty five and have never looked back. I have thought about quiting at the least every day, but have never made a serious or even courageous effort in doing so. Do I know that it’s unhealthy? You bet. Do I know that it may indeed shorten my life span? Most definitely. So knowing the dangers of smoking and having seen the the results of years of puffing the cancer stick, I can surely consider myself firmly educated on the subject.

The reason I am confessing this is something my wife mentioned to me the other day about the FDA’s newest attempt to educate the stupidest among us about the dangers of smoking.

From the Los Angeles Times

In the first major change to cigarette packaging in a quarter-century, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it would require graphic warning labels that cover half a package’s front and rear and the top 20% of all cigarette ads.

The labels will feature either drawings or photos illustrating graphically the dangers associated with smoking and will be accompanied by text stating that smoking is addictive or that it kills. The pictures feature such things as a diseased lung, a corpse and a man smoking a cigarette through a tracheotomy tube. They are not quite as grim as some used in other countries, but regulators hope they will be sufficiently frightening to keep young people from beginning to smoke and to strengthen the will of those who are attempting to quit.

The FDA it seems is not satisfied with the current warning label on your favorite brand, which by the way you’d have to actually read. Now they have decided to add along with the written warning, pictures depicting the dangers of smoking. Undoubtedly for those who have never learned to do so, read that is. With a little tongue in cheek, I am convinced that the “New World Order” started in San Fransisco.

Now I’m all for the education about the danger to ones self when smoking becomes an obsession, and indeed it does, as nicotine is insidiously addictive. But what has raised my irritation is the continued and progressive intrusion of government in my daily existence. I know not to put my hand on a hot stove or I’ll get burned. I know I should wear a seat belt while driving which may save my life in the event of an accident. What I don’t need is some jack wagon regulator sitting at a desk in Washington coming up with ideas on how my life could be better if only I knew the dangers waiting around every corner.

I am tired and becoming increasingly angry of being treated like a child. (please, no time out, G-man). What I really want and deserve is choice, the right to choose, and you as well as I are losing this every single day.

Now some may say I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, and if that’s so, then lets keep this snowball of government intrusion rolling on down.

Maybe we should put pictures of drunk drivers on beer cans, along with people who have been killed by those drinkers. Or a nice graphic picture of a swollen liver on your Budweiser may make you think twice before taking a drink.

Maybe we should put pictures of the obese on every item that has way too many calories, you know, just to scare the crap out of you to keep you thin and trim.

Maybe the government can implement a mandatory screen saver on your cell phone of bodies strewn along the road to make you aware that texting and driving don’t mix.

I could go on and on, but I hope you get the point. We are not stupid, we are not children, and the government has no business dictating how we live, eat, and breathe.

Life isn’t fair, life isn’t simple, and life sometimes can be dangerous. That my friends is just the way it is, and government will never be able to change that, no matter how much money you throw at it, or laws you create.

So with that being said, I’m going to go have a smoke.