In a world where tobacco consumption warrants a Motion Picture Association of America rating, where images of Winston Churchill are becoming “cigarless” thanks to airbrushing, where depictions of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover are conspicuously missing Paul McCartney’s cigarette, and where tobacco use – specifically cigarettes – has become an issue of morality, it defies logic – it is intellectually indefensible – that a corporation manufacturing and selling an item that is completely legal in the United States cannot purchase billboard space, magazine pages or air time.
Did you ever stop to think about that from a completely objective position?
I cannot be the only one who still finds it astonishing that in a free market society, there are laws against advertising a perfectly legal product.
Reasonable limitations are one thing. But an outright ban is another.
I cannot be the only one who is disturbed to observe a system of twisted moral values where the choice to smoke is on par with, if not considered worse than, cheating on a test or premarital sex.
Choosing to smoke, contrary to leftist dogma, is not an issue of character or moral fiber.
Cheating on an exam, on the other hand, is.
So, why is it okay for the government to tell a free-market entity that they cannot advertise their legal product? (This is not rhetorical. I’m actually asking the question).
It cannot be because there is an age restriction on tobacco.
Beer commercials and automobile ads – both of which have age limitations regarding their use – abound.
Is it because of all the “bad” that comes from smoking?
Yet, how many children have been beaten by parents who had one too many cigarettes? How many battered women’s shelters are filled with victims of Marlboro-crazed Neanderthals? How many people have been killed by those convicted of DWS (Driving While Smoking)?
Meanwhile, the number of automobile accidents caused by reckless, irresponsible drivers – preoccupied with cell phones, makeup, bags of drive-thru food on the passanger seat, etc. – is ever-growing.
Should beer and car ads be banned?
Of course not – just like ads for soda, sugar-rich cereals and cupcakes shouldn’t be nixed. It should be up to the network, billboard owner or magazine publisher to make the determination – not government.
I’m a big one for individual responsibility.
In October of last year, in a piece called THE NEW MORALITY – LIBERTY’S LATEST WAR, I wrote:
Talk show host Dennis Prager makes the point that if second-hand smoke kills as many people as is claimed by these totalitarian-like zealots – (some say as many as 50,000 a year in the United States alone, which would translate to nearly six people an hour dying in this country as a result of coming into contact with second-hand smoke) – then not only should the practice be banned outright everywhere, but those who are smoking need to be arrested and convicted for taking the lives of the innocent.
By the way, I don’t smoke. (I quit on February 2, 1998 at 3:14PM).