If You Got Cancer From Smoking, That’s YOUR Problem

-By Warner Todd Huston

The government’s newest great idea to save us all from ourselves is to put billboard sized photos of cancer victims on packs of cigarettes. Big pictures of guys with holes in their necks, lungs blackened, maybe even the occasional really yellow teeth, or perhaps the severely calloused thumb of a smoker who was constantly flicking his Bic will assault our eyes when we go to buy our smokes.


But does anyone really care about people that have damaged themselves for smoking? Not really. In fact, the logical reaction is to shrug one’s shoulders in a too-bad-for-you-pal way and move on with your life. The fact is, no one cares if you got cancer from smoking. It is not only your problem but it’s your fault.

Let’s face it, people. There isn’t a soul in this country that is so stupid that they are wholly unaware of anti-smoking claims that smoking can give you debilitating, death-dealing diseases. No one. Everyone is fully familiar with the evidence.

It is so well known that it simply goes without saying at this point. And this makes the photos a waste of time. These cigarette pack photos will not dissuade any appreciable number of people from taking up or continuing to smoke.

So why do it? Because this is yet one more way for government to exercise its iron boot heal. It is little else but one more way for government to attempt to interfere in our lives, force the business community to spend money to satisfy government edict, and one more way for government to alert people that they, rather than we, control our lives.

Now, I don’t wish cancer on anyone. But if someone is going to knowingly indulge in a habit that could exponentially increase their risk of contracting the disease, then that behavior is on them.

Sadly, this is all just one more example of an overweening, unhelpful, nanny-state effort by an out of control government.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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Copyright Publius Forum 2001