Smoking Tobacco And The Government. Surprised, Criminalized

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Smoking Tobacco and The Government Surprised, criminalized and taxed into submission. Tobacco was once the cash crop of our great nation, upon which are original founders made their mark on history. Yet since the upper-middle class set their sights to smoking in the 1970’s, it has become demonized and socially unacceptable. Furthermore, with the increase of “sin taxes”, tobacco is one of the highest taxed commodities in the United States. The overarching question is, should the government be so heavily involved in the private affairs of responsible adults? No, they should not. Throughout the 1900’s, up until the late 60’s, smoking was perceived as a sophisticated pastime that the most famous and successful of individuals partake in.…show more content…
While some methods were similar to those used by the tobacco companies, such as utilizing authority figures like doctors, the other common technique was the moral plea. This is clearly illustrated in a poster used by the American Lung Association which depicts a young girl with the caption “We all share the same air. Thank you for not smoking.” Government legislation was another avenue that anti-smoking crowd used to prevent people from buying and using tobacco. This was accomplished through taxation and outlawing the use of tobacco products in federal and public spaces. California is a prime example with several laws pertaining to the prohibition of tobacco usage: Section 118885 of the California Health and Safety Code prohibits the use of tobacco is designated public space, Section 5148 of the California Code of Regulations prohibits the use of tobacco products in the workspace, and California Health & Safety Code section 118900 strictly limits the use of smoking in restaurants to name a few (Citation). Federal taxes however, are by far the most egregious example of biased discrimination towards tobacco products, having one of the highest tax rates in the country. In 1951 the federal excise tax on cigarettes was only eight cents per pack (Citation). This was steadily raised through the 1900’s and into the early 2000’s, when by 2009 under the Obama administration the rate had reached

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