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June 23rd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should gov't have more power to regulate tobacco?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A majority of Americans disapprove of the new law that expands the government's power to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco. A Gallup Poll shows 52-percent of those surveyed - including most smokers - are opposed to the measure, while 46-percent support it.

Cigarette ads are visible at a Manhattan newsstand. Yesterday, Pres. Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

College graduates and Democrats are more likely to support it... while Republicans and those with a high school education or less are more likely to be against it.

President Obama signed the law yesterday, giving the Food and Drug Administration power to ban candy-flavored and fruit-flavored cigarettes - which are targeted at young people.

It also prohibits the tobacco companies from using terms like "low tar," "light" or "mild," requires larger warning labels on packages, restricts advertising, and requires companies to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes.

It's estimated than more than 400,000 people still die every year from tobacco-related illnesses. Health care costs related to tobacco top $100 billion annually.

Meanwhile... on a personal note, the president admitted in today's press conference that sometimes he's "fallen off the wagon" in his effort to quit smoking. Mr. Obama says he's "95-percent cured," but it's something he continually struggles with, like alcoholics do - which is why he believes the anti-smoking legislation is so important.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government have additional powers to regulate tobacco?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Randy from Salt Lake City writes:
Yes indeedee! I think the government should have total control over every aspect of my life. I have no willpower! I have no ethics or morals! I need Jesus and the government to tell me how to run my life! I want to be a lemming!

Ken from North Carolina writes:
The new law gives the government power to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco. The government outlawed booze and people still made it and got it and drank it. The government outlawed certain drugs and people are still getting them and using them. The government has been given the power to regulate tobacco so it will still be available to buy, smoke and die from. If you don’t smoke and don’t have kids it doesn’t make any difference. If you smoke and want to continue, it doesn’t make any difference either.

Paulette writes:
Government should shut down the production of tobacco products. I lost my father to emphysema in 1997 because he was a three-pack-a-day smoker for near 50-years. I watched him struggle and lay beside him when he passed away. Let these greedy congressmen and lobbyists tour an emphysema center and see the end results of big tobacco.

Tzivia from New Mexico writes:
Jack, are you kidding? We banned Ephedra when it was suspected of a handful of bad side effects; we pulled artificial sweeteners when mega-doses caused cancer in rats. Why is this lethal, addictive substance still legal? 23-years ago next week, my father, also named Jack, died of lung cancer.

Craig writes:
Like many college-educated, left-leaning professionals, my hypocrisy is evident in my desire for more regulation of tobacco and less of marijuana. Go figure, Jack.


Filed under: Government
soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. Scott in Canada

    The government should regulate caffeine while they're at it....

    June 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  2. Richard Green

    Tobacco contains differing levels of an addictive substance. Of course it should be regulated. We know how much alcohol is in our alcoholic beverages. Why should tobacco be treated differently?
    While we're at it, we should regulate gasoline in the same way utilities are regulated. Put them all under the PUC and make them justify their price increases while capping their profits. why should Exxon be different from Duke Energy?

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  3. Anne

    At least the FDA now has the power to regulate an addictive substance. It made no sense to me that there were more regulations on a watermelon in the grocery store than on the DRUG nicotine. I don't deny smokers their ability to smoke... But at least treat nicotine with at least as much concern as cold medicine.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  4. Ken from Monte Vista, CO

    Jack, the American people have the right and responsibility to determine if they want to smoke or not. The government can only alert the public of the repercussions of smoking and not allow tobacco interests to irresponsibly promote their product, which they have done. So no, the American public can determine what is right for them, we don't need additional regulation.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  5. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Let's examine that question:

    The government is in the auto industry business
    The government is in the banking business
    The government is in the insurance business
    The government is in the credit card business

    Why not the tobacco business?--if you got them--light them!

    June 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  6. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    Yes, but only if you are a Republican who likes to legislate morality on the rest of us. Seriously, I feel tobacco should be regulated with the same ferocity as alcohol was in the 20's and that marijuana is today. It might as well be outlawed altogether so the drug cartels can diversify. Tobacco kills more people in one year than all the non-tobacco-related illnesses and fatal car accidents combined. I mean of all the lame brained ideas. While it may make sense to regulate tobacco more, we need to legalize, regulate, and tax the heck out of marijuana. For Pete's sake, let’s kick the legs out from under murderous drug traffickers.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  7. james from Houston, TX

    If we go to state run healthcare then I say make tobacco illegal. I don't want to pay for the cancer treatment of people who choose to use something they know will cause health problems. Nor do I want to pay for someone's new liver because they drank a liter of Jack everyday so let's outlaw alcohol too. Also, fat people who eat everything they see except salads and fruit have health problems so let's outlaw fat and sugar. Guns and automobiles are next. Anything that can potential harm someone should be under strict governmenr control or illegal. Nobody should have the choice to partake in self depricating behavior. The government should be our parents and make thoze decisions for us.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  8. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    I'm sure the democrats think so. As for me, I think there is too much government in our lives already. To put it bluntly, they can't effectively regulate the stuff they have under their control now, why throw more stuff into the mix. Let them try doing an adequate job regulating our food safety program, our immigration policies, our energy independence progam (HUH?, have we got one of those???), our banks, our housing, our health, etc, ad nauseum! Government regulation is joke in the REAL world, but then, that is not where our politicians live, is it?

    June 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  9. BigD Fifty Lakes, Mn

    I Believe Somebody Should Regulate That Addictive, Poisonous Product. Tobacco Farmers have Always Had the Necessary Lobbying In the House + In the Senate to Stay In Business.

    Thanks to the Virginia Conservative Bible Beating, Neo-Conservative Tobacco Growing, Holy Bank + Aisle Rolling, Church Members; Many Who are "DEAD AGAINST" Abortion Think That the Beauty of TOBACCO LEAVES, Hanging + Drying in the Barn Much Resemble $100 Bills Hanging + Drying Freshy off the Press in the Same Barn!

    June 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  10. Dave

    I think the government should be able to regulate tobacco I am from Ky raised on a tobacco farm and recently quit smoking, the extra ingredients that these companies add is too keep you addicted. I know what natural tobacco is and what you buy in the store isn't. They should at least be forced to list there ingredients but oh wait, that could ruin them

    June 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  11. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Government needs to step back, stop and do my pass go, tone down and quit with the interfering. Government is like a control freaking mother that can't live her own life but has to live the lives of her six children too, one life isn't enough to live, let me live six more. They have their hands in everything these days and it needs to STOP.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  12. joe smoe

    NO WAY !!!!! The government can't continue taking away all of our freedoms like this!!!!!!!! First we cant smoke insitde annymore now not at all this is turning into communism almost. ... Whats nex t PROBATION AGAIN:? IT seems like everyone hates smokers. Its Discrimination!!!!!! The prices for them are outrageous.

    JOE.E

    June 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  13. Ray in Nashville

    Yes, they should. You know, the same people that oppose such powers say that a person should have freedom to choose to smoke or not, yet these same people also oppose a persons right to end his or her own life if they are diagnosed with an incurable disease. I guess they aren't out to get the government out of all aspects of our lives, are they?

    June 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  14. Larry

    Jack, you and I are both former smokers.

    Giving the FDA regulatory powers over cigarettes is good for now. I used to work for major pharmaceutical companies and I know how the FDA toes the line with their regulations. They really are a powerful agency when they're allowed to do their jobs.

    The latest regulatory plans are a big step in helping kids not start to begin with. They will hopefully make smoking more taboo.

    When I was a kid it was hep to smoke and cigs were $0.39/pack, and we had commercials on TV!

    Larry
    Cincinnati, OH

    June 23, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  15. Mike working in Guatemala

    No. About all that is left is banning tobacco use like was attempted with alcohol during prohibition. In my opinion, the time wasted by the government in trying to dictate people's personal behavior is not only counterproductive given the grave economic crises we are experiencing but also smacks to me of government interference in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. By the way, I am a 100% NON-SMOKER.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Dave in Saint Louis!

    Maybe Obama should learn to regulate himself and his own smoking habits first! Do as I say not as I do is the message I am getting!

    June 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  17. Doris/St. Louis

    Absolutely, and the tobacco CO. should be charged for all of the LIVES they have destroyed!

    June 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  18. Hubert Humbert

    The government should have the right to regulate alcohol, tobacco and firearms. Some freedoms need restrictions.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  19. Fred from Albany, New York

    How about we outlaw cigarettes, Legalize marijuana and let the tobacco companies package it?

    June 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  20. rlandschoot,

    tex ritter's (john's father) first CW hit was "smoke that cigarette" (Your' too young, jack. he died of lung cancer. However, while the government wants to control cigarettes, marihaunna supporters claim it isn't dangerous You can't stop people from smoking, so it'll be waste of government money and effort, Just like liquor.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  21. Jay in Texas

    No, I don't believe the government should have any additional powers to regulate tobacco. Americans should be reminded that these new regulations do nothing to hurt the Big Tobacco corporations and, in fact, they helped them by outlawing flavored cigarettes that were being produced by smaller tobacco companies.
    Brownwood, Texas

    June 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  22. Dee in sunny Florida

    Maybe not. Maybe it is an infringement on our rights.

    But what about the rights of the people who just do not want to have to subsidize medical care for those too stupid to quit smoking on their own? And what about the rights of parents whose kids are lured into smoking by some cherry flavored cigarette?

    And I am a former smoker talking here. I puffed away for over 40 years. Now, I wish the government HAD stepped in and banned cigarettes from my life altogether. My body did it for me, when I had a stroke, and quit smoking. That has been ten years ago. I did not even notice the nasty smell of tobacco smoke on other people for about 4 years after quitting, that's how deeply the smell and taste was ingrained in my body!

    Personally, I wish the government would go out and collect ALL tobacco products, defoliate all tobacco plants, and make smoking a capital offense. That's what it is for many people already.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  23. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I have a real problem with government regulation of the tobacco companies. As a former smoker, I guess that's surprising to other people, but smokers have always taken a huge hit from everybody about their offensive habit and have been taxed to death for smoking.It isn't fair to gain revenue to pay for other programs on the backs of smokers. Government always takes from the young, the poor, the elderly, and taxes anything that people enjoy. I'm glad I quit 12 years ago because I couldn't afford to smoke now, thanks to the bureacrats in Washington!

    June 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  24. Kevin, Fl

    Absolutely not. The ONLY THING the Fed should be regulating is measures to prevent sale to minors. When it comes to my personal choice of smoking -ITS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!! They want to legalize Marijuanna , but ban Tobacco? Typical.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  25. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, most smokers start well before the age of 18. If we just enforced current laws and prevented teens from starting in the first place the question would be irrelevant. Ee don't need more rules, just enforcement of existing ones.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  26. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Yes, the government needs to have more power to oversee tobacco. The health costs associated with cigarette smoking are huge and there needs to be some controls. As Americans, we need to give up some of the freedom that the tobacco industry has enjoyed for the health of our citizens.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  27. w a ingraham

    The tobacco execs lied to us as well as congress. They deliberately used nicotine to addict smokers while claiming it was not. Smoking should be abolished, not regulated. At my age, I have lost many friends to lung cancer.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  28. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Well Jack I'm college educated, a fine person in some peoples eyes, and a long term smoker. Also, for the most part I vote Democratic although am an Independent. I do not support the law and believe that prohibition failed because it was forcing things down peoples throats. Also, I am in recovery and have been for many years and most all of the people that come to get help are smokers. We are not second rate citizens even though most people treat us that way.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  29. gerry In Toronto

    Since government is responsible, one way or the other for the repercussions of smoking, they certainly should have the right to regulate it-and I'm a smoker.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  30. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    It`s just another weed. If nobody was smoking, we would lose a lot of revenue, and the doctors wouldn`t know what to say was wrong with us.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  31. Claire, Melbourne, FL

    YES, they should...it's an addictive DRUG...!!!

    June 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  32. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    If Big Tobacco were not very much afraid of losing at trial in an every increasing number of suits holding them responsible, they would have found a way to stpp this. No regulatory agency ever avoids capture by those they regulate for long. The Interstate Commerce Commission eventually was controlled by the railroads. The FAA is controlled by the airlines. The USDA is controlled by the food industry, as well as parts of the FDA. With power over big tobacco will come a price. Even if this administration is a vigorous enforcer, some future administration will do their bidding. The FDA is playing with fire.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  33. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Government should shut down the production of tobacco products. I lost my Father to emphasema in 1997 because he was a three pack a day smoker for near 50 years. I watched him struggle and layed beside him when he passed away. Let these greedy congressmen and lobbysists tour an emphasema center and see the end results of big tobacco.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  34. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    No. It's just like Prohibition and marijuana. The harder you make it, the more we want it.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  35. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    100$ billion for healthcare costs passed on to the taxpayers is related to deaths because of tobacco . What are the profits made from tobacco companies?

    June 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  36. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    100$ billion annually for healthcare costs passed on to the taxpayers is related to deaths because of tobacco . What are the annual profits made from tobacco companies?

    June 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  37. Lisa in Shelton CT

    Hate to say Yes Jack – but while I abhor how big government gets, the absence of policing in many of our industries almost requires the gov. to step in to make sure the public is protected from corporate greed, lies, and malfeasance – in healthcare, banking, credit, investing, real estate – pretty much everywhere the policies of our previous administration failed America.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  38. FRED HUGHES

    I don't understand why people have problems with the government wanting to regulate products that can jeopardize our health or our lives. It seems to me that making things safer and better for us is a job for our government.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  39. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    Tobacco is far more harmful than marijuana and should be regulated as such.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  40. HopefulI American

    Yes, but they probably won't because in the long run I don't think it will get them any additional votes.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  41. Kim - Blair, NE

    I think it is time for FDA to have some control. After all Nicotine is a drug. Has always seemed odd to me that tobacco was included with firearms. Drugs & guns? Isn't that what we are trying to get rid of or at least not have together?

    June 23, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  42. Venia PA

    I am a pack a day smoker and I actually applaud President Obama's decision because the industry does need to be regulated.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  43. RNM from Chicago

    Sure, and while we're at it, let's regulate what we eat, read, watch on tv, wear, and let our children do. I hate smoking and think smokers are rude, selfish space invaders - but I'm tired of those who think over-legislation can or should replace personal responsibility.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  44. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    If the Goverment has to step in just for the reason of making sure the consumer (especially our childre) has the true facts about the dangers of smoking, I think it's Ok.
    The tobaco companies have been lying to the public for years about the hazards of smoking. Our children need to know the truth and if we leave it up to the tobaco companies our kids would be smoking at 8 yrs old still.
    If you, as an adult smoke that's your wish and should not be infringed upon but we have to protect our children.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  45. Jane (Minnesota)

    I rather see the government have & use more power to regulate Monopolies & not let businesses get so large that the taxpayers have to step in with their money to bail them out from failing!

    June 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  46. jwan khanakah

    No. This is a self determined decision. You never stop smoking if the whole world tells you to do so. You give up the habit only when you realize that it is time to throw the pack away.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  47. Helen

    Yes the government should regulate tobacco because so many of our young are starting to smoke and being a person who smoked for 34 years and quit cold turkey it is and every day struggle to not smoke again. I commend the president in trying to save others from going down the smoking road..we should do the same for liquor.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  48. Joel in Iowa

    Jack,

    As I recall FDA = Food and Drug Administration...Will that make tobacco as safe as our food supply is?

    E. coli in cigarettes, how neat! I can't wait (I'm not a smoker) but it will be fun to watch! ... wheee! Will they put a "bake before eating" warning on them too?

    June 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  49. Nestor, Austin, TX

    I hope they don't plan on using money from tobacco taxes to pay for anything. Tobacco taxes usually pay for healthcare. Make it so that taxes from tobacco pay for healthcare, then put the tobacco industry out of business through excessive regulation. More liberal logic.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  50. richard a. winkler

    No, if people want to smoke that is their problem.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  51. Missy M

    Jack,
    Why are we pretending that any law passed in this country will impact tobacco companies .... they make the majority of their money in other parts of the world where US laws do not reach. As long as there are smokers in Europe, South America, Mexico, etc., the tobacco companies will continue to make money.

    Missy M., Phoenix

    June 23, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  52. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Yes, with the statistics you quote, certainly. I smoked for decades and one day I stopped. It's about as addictive as coffee, but it IS a habit. Once a person sees how disgusting it is, anyone can stop. I don't buy for one second that it is physically addictive, but a huge industry has blossomed that depends on people believing that lie. Let the government regulate to its heart's content. If it keeps children from starting, that would be a good thing, but I doubt if it will help at all. Kids by their nature are curious and rebellious. They want to do what you tell them not to. That will not change.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  53. Drake from Shongaloo,La

    Yes, sure. If the government isn't regulating Tobacco products, who else is going to defend the ignorant.(Our Youth)

    June 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  54. Mark Wasserman

    Yes (cough), as long as they can keep taxing cigarette sales and lower taxes for the non-smokers that have to breath the currently regulated polluted air. Let them regulate, I mean tax the tobacco companies and consumers. Philadelphia, PA

    June 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  55. Chris in Philadelphia

    Of course. Tobacco was once regulated as a pharmaceutical because of the nicotine. Deep pockets changed that. Personally, I think they should ban the stuff. What benefit does it provide??? It is a nice college fund for lots of tobacco execs but otherwise it ruins lungs, causes cancer and kills people prematurely. Regulate it into oblivion!

    June 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  56. Dennis from pa

    i am conflicked. you can smoke and purchase tobacco products. but they can't have adds on t.v.. yet you can buy beer and alcohol products that have adds on t.v. yet driving and smoking is legal while there are dui's. if you want more government to regulate these products then make them illegal. my whole family smokes! i don't, however. i think it is distgusting! it is legal and until it is not then the government needs to back off. i believe drinking is worse for our society then smoking is! i have the choice to leave if someone is smoking or ban it in my residence. it is a choice to smoke. more government is not needed,If the problem is children smoking then more education on the subject is. teach this to children in school.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  57. MacFab

    Jack, I like your questions most of the times but you failed this one, which makes this question irrelevant. Government already has additional powers, the law has been passed and the president has signed it. Move on to your next question Jack!!! MacFab from Nacogdoches TX.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  58. jack frost in vermont

    The FDA is inept enough without adding to its workload.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  59. Jerry A - Toronto, Canada

    Yes, all the power they need. I smoke and regret ever starting. I hide from my nieces and nephews at family gatherings (or any of my friends kids) when I light up, I don’t want them to say or think, hey, if Uncle Jerry does it, it must be cool. It’s not cool, it is the worst habit anyone could ever have. I fight every year to try and quit, one day I will win the battle. Hopefully before it kills me.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  60. RJ in Atlanta

    Jack, it's absolutely insane that tobacco has ever been legal since learning just how deadly it is. It is poison. When any other product is even thought to cause illness or death there are massive recalls. How long have we known how bad tobacco is? Long enough. Maybe it's still legal because it keeps the money rolling in for the health industry, they can tax it like mad AND it's a form of population control. It really is a shame how money perverts and corrupts. Speaks loudly of just how inhuman humans can be.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  61. Tom from Philly

    yes if it prevents adjusting nic levels for max addiction and gets fruit flavored cigs off the market

    June 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  62. Denise - Fort Worth

    I believe the government should have additional powers to regulate tobacco simply because people are out there killing themselves and the nicotine is holding them in so who is going to help them if their friends and family can't.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  63. Helen Canada

    I thought Americans are way ahead from Canadians. Of course he should regulate the Tobacco industry.People will scream and get uptight,like we did.But now we are used to it.
    He could kill two birds at once. We pay more taxes for tobacco and alcohol and that extra taxes goes for the health care.It will not be easy
    it took us 19 years,but now you cannot even smoke in your car if you have a child under 16.

    I do not mind to pay the extra taxes,when I do not pay for health care,with the problems I had and operations I went through we would be in the poor house if we had to pay for all that.
    P.S. I am still a smoker after 53 years so if I pay this taxes I deserve it.

    So do not condem Obama that has a hard time to quit, as long as we try to get young ones to not to start.that is the point.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  64. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Yes indeedee! I think the government should have total control over every aspect of my life. I have no willpower! I have no ethics or morals! I need Jesus and the government to tell me how to run my life! I want to be a lemming! I want to serve the state! I want to be assimulated!

    June 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  65. Nancy, Tennessee

    Signing a bill to put tobacco regulation under the FDA doesn't make me think that meaningful change in the tobacco industry will happen. The FDA's reputation for watching over anything lately hasn't been that good. We found out when meat was contaminated that the FDA doesn't inspect all the meat that is passed on to consumers. I think the FDA should be more involved with the safety of our food than overseeing the advertising and marketing of tobacco.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  66. Shiva

    2 words: Free Country

    June 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  67. Scott Stodden

    Of course governemnt should have all the powers in regulating the sale of tobacco, Im so glad this bill was signed into law because more lives in my opinion will be saved. When companies are selling products we know are not good for our bodies such as tobacco or alcohol the goverment should have every right how to regulate who should see these products and who should not, and that's not only my opinion.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, IL)

    June 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  68. Doctor Sharon in Chicago, IL

    Tobacco is a deadly, addictive drug that readily invades the air of nonsmokers as well. The government should not only have the power to regulare its use, it should be totally outlawed. We know the Tobbaco Lobby lied to Congress a half a century ago, has aggressively marketet to young people (I recall them giving free tiny packs of four or five ciagarettes to us at popular off-campus lunch sites during high school in the 60's even), and have altered their product to produce maximum addiction. Tobacco manufacturing plants should be shut down.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  69. Allen, Houston

    Jack,
    The government is not regulating tobacco as in forcing American people not to smoke, they are just regulating the dubious method of sale and hooking children by the tobacco industry, children, who later in life cost us more in healthcare costs. As he said in his news conference, it is not about him, it's about American children.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  70. David A Whitaker

    Heck no Jack, if I want to smoke myself to death. Should I have the right to puff puff away, and die in pain of no lung.

    David
    Martinsburg, WV

    June 23, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  71. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    NO but it is not the tobacco in a cigarette that should be regulate it is the formaldehyde.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  72. mack from michigan

    It's a slippery slope Jack! What's next government imposed diets for the obese amongst us. Smoking cigerettes to the point of inflicting cancer on yourself is a personal choice as is overeating to the point of inflicting heart disease on yourself. Are the " government as parent" folks gonna turn their attention to our wastelines next. I just thank God I made the "personal choice" to quit smoking years ago. The government doesn't need any more power in this regard, their power to raise the taxes on cigerettes is enough I believe!

    June 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  73. Remo .............. Beautiful downtown Austin, Texas

    Jack,
    No, Obama admitted he still smokes, so he still needs them.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  74. Derick from Greenlawn, NY

    It seems the word "family" finds its way into many bills where it doesn't belong, but I agree with the signing of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act because it will help protect children from the hazardous effects of second hand smoke. I believe in the freedom to "pick your poison," I just don't believe you should pick poisons for other people.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  75. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    No, laws against smoking are like laws against drugs, they don’t work. As an ex-smoker I can tell you that the habit is hard to break and a personal decision. The best anti-smoking devises are good role models and letting youngsters know there is nothing glamorous about dying from smoking related diseases.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  76. Jasmine in Germany

    Absolutely! It should be criminal for companies which manufacture an addictive poison to target our children and their futures. Sucking on carcinogens needs to be phased out and the government has to help because people will fall victim to advertising. We should not allow companies to get rich from making our people sick. The FDA has to protect the health of our citizens, not the wealth of criminals. P.S.: I'm a smoker.

    Smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise related diseases are the three biggest health hazards in the USA. We can thank the tobacco, oil and automotive industries for that. It's time to shape up!

    June 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  77. Peter

    On the one hand, it's a free country and we should be allowed to put whatever we want in our bodies. Though at the same time, it's dangerous, and second-hand smoke can kill thousands of people who don't smoke. Also the amount of addiction in smoking is a threat to the health of those who smoke.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  78. Roland-St George, UT

    Absolutely. Tobacco is a harmful substance. It harms the user, as well as if smoked, it harms people exposed to the second-hand smoke. Additionally, it harms those who farm it. I had a friend in the military who grew up on a tobacco plantation who nearly died from nicotine overdose as a kid when he was made to go pick tobacco at age 10. I believe that people should be allowed access if they want to, but in order to keep tobacco out of the hands of minors, I would support legislation that moved all tobacco sales to pharmacies, like they do now with Sudafed. You can still buy it but you need to get it from the druggist or their assistant and show your ID. No more cheap tobacco stores. Sorry, I know that's going to hurt a few businesses, but not every business is beneficial to society. We don't allow stripper bars next to schools either. (Roland/St George, UT)

    June 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  79. Shem from Brooklyn

    I agree with some regulation for example ads targeting teenagers. But not the other areas. if people wanna smoke cigarettes and kill themselves then hats of to them. Instead of more regulation we should have higher taxes on cigarettes & alcoholic beverages to help cover the cost of health care.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  80. Jason Beck

    Education is the key to winning smoking but in a free country, there isn't much you can do about it. I am fine with telling youngsters about how bad things are but why are we constantly punishing people who are choosing to do something within their right. Higher taxes on a single part of society is wrong in any respect. Overweight people don't get the same treatment and they cause MORE health problems. There isn't a higher tax or federal control over regulate saturated fat laced sweets last time I checked.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  81. Jason Beck

    Education is the key to winning smoking but in a free country, there isn’t much you can do about it. I am fine with telling youngsters about how bad things are but why are we constantly punishing people who are choosing to do something within their right. Higher taxes on a single part of society is wrong in any respect. Overweight people don’t get the same treatment and they cause MORE health problems. There isn’t a higher tax or federal control over regulate saturated fat laced sweets last time I checked.

    Jason Beck
    Rome Ga

    June 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  82. Carla, Casper, WY

    Absolutely Not! Enough is enough! Find something else to regulate. There are many other "vile" habits to focus on. Doesn't the "government" have anything more important to do?

    June 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  83. Bill

    yes, of course. the free ride for big tobacco should have ended decades- and millions of lost lives- ago

    June 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  84. Tim in Texas

    I'd bet my bottom dollar that the same Republicans that oppose this regulation would support regulation that would prevent Calvin Klein from putting their billboards up anywhere - much less near a school. Republicans don't want any regulations except those about sex - they are obsessed. I smoke and I'm all for this regulation, smoking is addictive and it kills - enough said.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  85. Arnie Mori

    The President fields some softball questions on
    his smoking habit. To which Blitzer fawns " I admire him. " Cafferty adds " How refreshing."
    Cheering replaces journalism.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  86. kathy

    I do not believe the Government should further regulate tobacco. There is no one in this day and age, including children who are being taught in grade school, the purported dangers of smoking. More labels, warnings, name changes etc. will change nothing. These changes and additional "laws" will however cost a lot of money and add bureaucracy to an already overburdened system.

    The Government needs to put it's money where it's mouth is and just leave it alone or remove it completely. I am a smoker, obviously do not want the latter, but is there any other "drug" that causes this much problem, that is not banned?? Why is nicotine the exception?? Because the research is overblown or they do not want to give up tax revenue, or both???

    Also has anyone ever asked how will the government replace the lost revenue from the exorbitant taxes if they do manage to get smokers to quit?? How will Medicare and SS etc.. bear the cost when the 400,000 smoking deaths per year live to a ripe old age, in the nursing home, maybe with Alzheimers??? Just wondering how we know which costs more for the taxpayers??

    I don't nec. want to advocate smoking, nor do I want to trash it. I for one just want the Government to let ME decide what I want to do with MY life, let us go, just like our parents once did.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  87. Nathaniel - Plymouth MA

    Of course they should...they regulate everything else. I hear they want to tax unhealthy food now as well.

    I wish they would just call it what it is...a vice tax...

    June 23, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  88. Tom H.

    Are you kidding?

    What good will come of this? Less nicotine in smokes so we buy more? Great plan!

    Unless they're going to lower the prices, I want none of this.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  89. Ralph Cape Coral, Fl.

    We had prohibition to stamp out booze because it was bad for you , that didn't work out to well. We made pot illegal because thats bad for you and that hasn't worked out. The cost of our ineffective drug program is a waste of tax dollars and the biggest agriculture product is pot. Billions of dollars pass to bad guys unaccounted for. We keep tobacco legal and it kiills 400,000 a year probably more people than booze and pot combined and costs us $100 billion a year.

    We should send the tobacco companies and the people that decide to kill themselves with smoking a bill for their share of the costs.

    Or we should admit that this is the drug that really KILLS and make it illegal. But, how would we replace the Billion in taxes the Gov't collects on sales of tobacco. And how would we ever get those southern state politicians to vote against their bread and butter.

    Things will never change!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  90. Ken in NC

    The new law gives the government power to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco. The government outlawed boozed and people still made it and got it and drank it. The government outlawed certain drugs and people are still getting them and using them. The government has been given the power to regulate tobacco so it will still be available to buy, smoke and die from. If you don’t smoke and don’t have kids it doesn’t make any difference. If you smoke and want to continue, it doesn’t make any difference either.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  91. JT in OH

    We worry why we have E.coli in spinach, in cookie dough, lead in our toys, and Heparin made in China that kissl people, yet Americans want to cut back on the money and power they give the FDA? Tobacco contains a drug – nicotine. If we want to have safe food and control the harms of uncontrolled drugs then we have to support the FDA and other agencies – and that means giving them not only power but money to exercise it. I'm beginning to worry I can't trust products made in America, let alone China!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  92. Gman

    They'll use less nicotine?

    From what I've read, nicotine isn't the problem. It's the rest of the chemicals they use. So... less nicotine = smoke more to get your "fix".

    June 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  93. Jim

    I don't understand why the FDA now regulates tobacco but not alcohol. Isn't alcohol a drug too? And I'd argue that alcohol is a more dangerous drug than tobacco. I don't understand the disconnect.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  94. Molly

    Of course they should! This doesn't JUST affect the smoker. My son has asthma, cigarette smoke takes away his ability to breathe. How can people be against ANYTHING that would lower smoking rates? I just don't understand. I wish cigarettes would raise to $200 a pack. My mother quit after 55 yrs and my daughter quit after smoking for 3 yrs. It can be done. Please try for your own health and the health of those around you.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  95. william jurewitz

    Tobacco's legal. Marijuana is illegal. What can you say ??

    June 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  96. Danny

    Yes government should the power to regulate alcohol and tobacco. Both are just a legal drug unlike other drugs. Tha's all it is. The government needs to get more involved.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  97. Nicholas Harsin

    Absolutely, tobacco is a financial and health care nightmare which needs to be discouraged as much as possible. If Obama can discourage young people from smoking from the beginning, our country's health will be on its way to a better end.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  98. Donnie Raimon

    If Tobacco were a prescription drug, the FDA would not approve it! Why is it still legal?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  99. Sha

    Y not jack, they regulate marijuana...

    June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  100. Jenb

    Sure. But it only seems fair if gov't also has power to limit other health-affecting habits and vices with the same strength: fast food? type-A personalities? helicopter parents who put high pressure on their kids definitely cause health costs but we won't know about them until 20 years from now.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  101. Hyden

    O LORDY! I CAN'T HELP MYSELF!! HELP ME GOV'T, HELP ME!~!!!

    I guess when Americas start getting this stupid the government thinks its necessary. I apologize that I'm a free-willed human being and anti-communist.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  102. sheila mills

    Well we are capitalists so the almighty dollar takes precedence over health and life. Otherwise, we would ban cigarettes outright. Think about it. If we could get control over smoking the $100 billion dollars we spend on cigarette related health issues yearly would offset the trillion dollar price tag for the Health plan thats being debated.

    Remember we are a free country. We are therefore free to commit a slow and painful suicide by smoking.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  103. Zolicon

    If smoking is so bad for you health why not get rid of it all together.
    Zolicon

    June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  104. BSmith

    Yes, yes, yes! Smoking is a public health issue and the government needs the power to more thoroughly regulate its use in our society. The deceptive advertising and the misrepresentation of public health data by the tobacco companies clearly indicates the need for strong and effective government regulation of tobacco.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  105. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard,CA

    My Grandmother smokes, My Grandfather smokes, My Godfather Smokes, My Godfather smokes, Most of My Friends smoke and there parents smoke. And even my president Smokes. The Government can do whatever they want as long as these people stop smoking.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  106. Mike from Little Rock

    If a product is poison, it should be labeled as poison. Tobacco is poison.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  107. Michael, Chandler AZ

    YES! The Government should regulate tobacco more. It's their job to protect the population, and this is the NUMBER ONE healthcare problem in America. Emphysema, Heart Attacks, Strokes and Cancer are all linked to tobacco, and are all on the rise. It's long overdue, and with the concern of bankrupting the healtcare system, it is very much time to regulate the tobacco industry.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  108. ray

    I think it is great to outlaw targeting of kids by tobacco companies.

    Now if only they would do the same to lobbyists, and outlaw them from shopping for congressional votes, maybe the small guy would have a chance.

    Ray

    June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  109. Barry401

    Yes, we've got all these laws in Canada, and even though I'm still a smoker ... these efforts do affect my intake. It lowers it, and I can go longer without smoking.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  110. Bruce

    No. They have massively abused all powers and now have the delusion that they are our literal masters. ALL REGULATORY POWERS INCLUDING TOBACCO, FINANCE, TREATIES, AND CONTRACT MAKING SHOULD BE REVOKED UNTIL EACH REPRESENTATIVE READS THE CONSTITUTION, AND PASSES A TEST ON IT AFTERWARD.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  111. Domingo from Puerto Rico

    Sure. Tax it. If a person is throwing away his life and affecting people around him, through passive smoking, make him throw away his money. If those many people are dying from tabacco related diseases, make those same people who smoke pay for it, and help some of those children in need also. We could be doing two good things at a time.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  112. Terry from Austin

    Absolutely !! The worst thing that Native American's ever did was introduce tobacco to the whites. Ironically, it was more deadly than the disease infested blankets that the whites gave to the Native Americans. It has cost this country more misery than war !! I also want the idiots who want to legalize other drugs to think about how tragic tobacco has turned out to be and to get it through their thick heads that it's the wrong thing to do !!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  113. Bob In Florida

    YES....YES.....YES.......AND I AM A TWO PACK A DAY SMOKER.

    I wrote Obama asking him to NOT ONLY control tobacco, BUT ALSO control the nicotine contect of cigarettes. Within one year, tobacco would have NO MORE than the natural content. Each year after that the tobacco companies would have to REDUCE the nicotine by another 20% (like DE-Caffinated coffe).

    We could ween THE ENTIRE COUNTRY off of nicotine within five years. Then smokers could quit more willingly!

    (By the way, I reduced my smoking to 1 per hour so far.)

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  114. Craig

    Like many college-educated left-leaning professionals, my hyprocrisy is evident in my desire for more regulation of tobacco and less of marijuana. Go figure, Jack.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  115. Adeola

    Yes Govt should have more power. We thought that cancer could cure smoking and reduce tobacco use but it hasn't work much that way. People need help and tighter policies will help to reduce the global cost of ill health arising from these unnecessary habits.

    Adeola Aderounmu, Sweden

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  116. Mark in Arkansas

    It's not a matter of weather they should, as much as if they CAN. They can't regulate homeopathic medicines sold to parents for use on children. They can't regulate vitamins and food supplements eaten by children. If they can't help with products everyone uses almost every day, why be worried about a product only used by 20% of the population?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  117. Kim Saunders

    It is obvious that the government hopes to eventually eliminate smoking altogether. So why waste our time. Let's just ban smoking and help this people stop cold turkey.
    Kim, Taiwan

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  118. Robert R. in New Braunfels, TX

    Sure, the American tobacco industry kills 400,000 Americans each year. That is a lot more Americans than bin Laden has killed.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  119. Michael

    No I don't think the government should have any more power. I think the real power to keep the youth away is through education. As an ex smoker who is only 27 I can tell you that in health class we learned it was bad for you, but I didn't really understand everything it was doing to me until after I decided to quite. The facts I got when I did decide to quite made it much easier for me, had I had that list of things when I was in high school I never would have started. I think it is up to educating and if people still decide to smoke then they have no one else to blame for the problems it brings.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  120. darlene

    I don't have a problem with it. I have a problem with people who smoke knowing it can cause cancer. Then wants to sue the cigarette companies because they are terminally ill because of their choice to smoke.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  121. susie bradley

    no...nicotine is not a narcotic..you don't get stopped by police for driving with a cigarette..why don't we regulate the sale of alcohol..which kills millions of people every year? makes more sense..

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  122. eliza

    Yes!! 100 billion dollars of my money wasted on a habit that by now every one knows is bad for your health.
    Hey, if you want to kill yourself fine, do me a favor jump off a bridge this way my tax dollars won't have to pay for your emphysema, lung transplant and oxygen tanks.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  123. Liz

    Jack, I am a smoker, and HATE IT. I've been addicted for 30 years, and although I am one of the "lucky" ones (having passed a breathing test like that of an 18 year-old). Everything that can be done to lower nicotine, ban it, bar it, whatever needs to be done .... must be done.

    It is awful, and is, by far, the most addictive DRUG there is.

    Liz

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  124. josh f

    As a smoker, I can tell you it won't matter that they're banning fruity cigarettes and putting bigger labels on, people are still going to smoke just as much.
    The problem is the tobacco. Real Apache tobacco, which hasn't has the soul bred out of it by major companies, is a much much stronger drug than cigarettes. You could never smoke a full pack of real tobacco cigarettes in a day. You couldn't even finish a full cigarette of it. If it was restored to it's ancestral state, thousands of people would quit and millions less cigarettes would be smoked. There wouldn't be such an intense desire for it.
    Until that happens, I'm using electronic cigarettes. No tar, no carcinogens, no odor, no smoke, just water vapor. It's 2009, people, get with it.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  125. Cathy - Austin, TX

    The tobacco companies have enjoyed life in the US relatively unregulated by the government until now, and it's about time big tobacco is subjected to the same government regulations as other industries. Even as a smoker, I am very much a supporter of the new regulations and think the government can and should exercise regulation over tobacco companies.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  126. Nick

    Sure Jack, and while there at it, how about regulating how many Big Macs a year we can eat under the new health plan and how much firewood we can burn to heat our homes under new expanded carbon legislation.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  127. ucatchme,Ca.

    Yes,tobacco is an addicting drug and may cause cancer..as law-suits have proven..so it should be treated as an illegal drug...unsafe for human consumption...

    June 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  128. Andrew Hayes

    "Just governments derive their power from the people." It is evident that neither you, nor I, nor any of the other people have the right to impose their will on a private company, thus, since the people lack this power, the government also lacks that power. The fact that government does otherwise is the commission of injustice, and the violation of natural law, every bit as wrong, and evil as government's condonation of slavery.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  129. Dave B.

    Well Jack, it is the food and DRUG administration, the last time I checked, nicotine is a drug. It is about time the FDA got involved with the regulation of this destructive product. Maybe if this had happened 25 years ago, I wouldn't be one of the millions addicted to their product.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  130. Scott, Philadelphia

    We should do anything and everything to improve the health of the people in this country. America is becoming more obese and more cancerous every day. This tobacco legislation is a good start.

    P.S. I though the president had a team of people trying to keep him from any danger. Someone needs to do their job and take his away his smokes.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  131. frankie

    Tobacco is vastly more harmful than marijuana. Just saying.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  132. Kurt

    No, the government shouldn't regulate it at all. They should just outlaw it!

    If it's really that bad, just outlaw it! Then the states and feds can get tax money from somewhere else.

    The way I see it, if they tax it, the condone it's sale.

    Love how you tie it to health care costs. Nice touch.

    How about all the fires that cigarettes cause?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  133. Fran of Huntington, NY

    Of course the government should do whatever it can to save American lives, to promote good health and not to mention the savings in health cost. Too many young people start smoking and say they'll smoke for a few years and quit. Yeah right! Just as addictive as heroin, just as dangerous. If we were to legalize all drugs wouldn't there be restrictions. Congratulations President Obama, why wasn't something done sooner?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  134. Janet & Mike Holmes, Alabaster, AL

    Jack,
    My husband and I have NEVER smoked and we do not understand those who do. WE are paying for the healthcare costs of all those who choose to do so in our insurance premiums. We have no problem with people doing as they wish, but this problem is infringing on ALL of us. Maybe BIG TOBACCO can take up the cost of the healthcare of all their customers instead of the rest of us paying for it. YES, the government should interfere. By the way, isn't it interesting that the less educated and Republicans of our country do not support this?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  135. Jennifer

    When they take away your little Debbie snackcakes because they have too much sugar or your french fries because of the fat, dont whine. Both have been proved to have a negitive impact on health. And dont get me started on the evils of red meat.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  136. Karen

    It seems that smokers are always targeted for more taxes because of all of the "health risk". Let's raise the taxes 100% more on alcohol, seems to be more innocent victims of drunk drivers than of cigarette smoke. You can walk away from smoke, but you can't drive away from a drunk drivers – they tend to follow you.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  137. Allen in Charleston

    Yes!

    Cigarettes are the only consumer product that if used as intended by their manufacturer will kill you.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  138. L Skylar Brown

    I would imagine this prelim opinion poll is slanted. Can't imagine a thinking person objecting to further restricting a substance that can actually kill!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  139. Jeff Zerangue

    The government has no business trying to run the auto industry, the financial industry, nor private industry like the tobacco industry. Regulatory laws are already in place. Enforce them. Regulators do not need more laws. They need bodies. People to actually do the audits and examinations. Then bring the findings for enforcement.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  140. Rob

    In a twisted way it makes perfect business sense. First they raise taxes, people smoke less. They need the money so they lower the nicotine. The result is the people smoke more with the added benefit of more tar and harmful chemicals.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  141. Sam S

    I find it truly amazing when people can't come to the realization that smoking will kill you. There are no if ands or buts about it, cigarettes kill and allowing these companies to sell addictive lethal products to our children is not only irresponsible but down right ignorant. Have these republicans and high school grads spend one week in my medical school classes to see the zillion ways smokers will die. It's definitely not pretty.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  142. Sarah S

    Government regulation of tobacco is the only way tobacco can ever be regulated since tobacco companies aren't going to do it themselves. The government should set benchmarks to limit the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes and other tobacco products, eventually weaning tobacco users off nicotine

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  143. Dawn in Atlanta

    Jack,
    I think the Government should do whatever it can to discourage people from smoking.
    I am not a middle-age Baby Boomer and happy to say, former smoker.

    Both of my parents smoked, my mother died of lung cancer. Even towards the end of her life she still could not give up cigarettes.

    I think smoking should never have been made legal.

    One thing that helped me to quit was looking at a brochure from the American Cancer Society that had two photos; one of a smoker and one of a non-smoker.

    Maybe if more people saw that they would quit. It worked for me.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  144. Positiverich

    Capitalism is about profits not helping anyone. We need government regulation on things that kills its patriotic tax paying citizens.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  145. Thomas Barnett

    There is only one way to quit smoking and that is just quit. If you can't do that there is nothing the government can do to help you. Take it from a ex-smoker, "just do it!"

    June 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  146. george

    to answer your qustion jack..............yes.

    allso regarding the president having a ciggarette..............if i had his job along with john maccain and rush limbough riding me all the time coupled with a useless congress i would have to have an occasional ciggarette myself once in a while.
    george
    chester,ct.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  147. Jack Laakso

    The government should not have more power to regulate tobacco. Everyone already knows the hazzards of smoking; if they still want to smoke, let them. What's next, regulating beer, wine & liquor? This administration wants to control everything; free enterprise is fast disappearing. We are headed for socialism, no question about it.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  148. Marc

    Pres. Obama is working towards the end of freedom in America. I have smoked 20+ a day for 30 years, and that's my choice. It's my life, and I want freedom to choose.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  149. Oscar

    Wasn't this new administration going to begin decriminalizing "consensual crimes," rationally in favor of personal responsibility? Doesn't seem to me that giving government even more regulatory authority over tobacco is what we were promised in November.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  150. Thomas Bate

    Well Jack, its not an issue at the top of my list. But I dont see the problem with the goverment restricting and taxing tobacco even more. After all, most heavy smokers end up with lung cancer, and the rest of us have to pay higher insurance and taxes, to pay for their self destrucive behavior.. I see smokers taking constant smoking breaks. And of course their behavior often effects our own, with second hand smoke. Tax the hell out of it, and try to keep kids from getting brainwashed from thinking its cool. Cigarette companies need to be held accountable. As they cant be trusted to do the right thing, then the goverment has no choice but to step in.. sadly.

    Tom Bate/ Ft Lauderdale

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  151. Wanda in Arlee, MT

    Hi Jack,

    Alcohol is regulated. Recreational drugs are banned. My question is, "Why hasn't this happened sooner?"

    It's no surprise that the less educated and ignorant Americans (i.e. the Republican base) are against regulating big tobacco. I'm glad we have a president who is smarter than his base for a change.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  152. Bill Reddy

    The goverment should continue to educate people about the perils of smoking. It should also encourage health insurance costs (including Medicare) to have increased premiums for smokers (with significant penaltys for lying about smoking habits).

    Bill Reddy
    Syracuse, NY

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  153. Kyle in Dallas

    I think its simple, government taking over something else will equal more job loss and another sector of our economy to disappear. Its sad that so many people die from smoking, yet it is there choice and regulation from the government will not stop them from making this choice. More people die in cars than from smoking. Should we ban cars?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  154. Melanie

    These laws (and more besides) have been in effect in Canada for ages.

    I must wonder though, how it is OUR governments acknowledge how terrible an addiction smoking is, "allow" the LEGAL sale of same and collect HUGE taxes. I guess the underlying message is: "We are both addicted – the smokers on nicotine and the Government on taxes.
    For those who conduct polls on smoking: I did not start because my folks smoked or because I was seduced by advertising- I started to be "in" with my friends at school (FOOL that I was).

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  155. key

    What about a tobacco product sold by Foreign grocery store like Indian Grocery store every part of US. They sell tobacco in different flavor and diferent form. Google manikchand gutkha or gutkha, Mirage tobacco etc...It is very cheap also, around less than $1 for pouch.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  156. Monica

    Hi there. I am a big fan of Obama however in this case I don't think government has a right to regulate tobacco to this extent. Don't get me wrong I live in CT and I enjoy the fact that after going to a bar I don't smell like a carton of cigarettes. However, even as a non smoker I feel that in a way they are criminilizing smoking, there are basic rights that we have in America and controlling things like the marketing just doesn't seem right. I think the money would be better spent in education and smoking cessation programs.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  157. Nick Iaccarino

    Of course the government should have the ability to regulate tobacco, just as they do all other drugs in the country. Just because big tobacco has so much of a financial backing, along with avid support from whom else, smokers, does not mean that they should go untethered. The real story to the regulation is Phillip Morris looking like it could be heading towards monopoly status, as this regulation will make it harder for smaller tobacco companies to enter the market, thus solidifying Phillip Morris' dominating share in the tobacco market.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  158. Lisa W

    Of course the govt. should have the power to regulate tobacco, Jack!
    Personally, I feel tobacco is more harmful than Marajuana. It's tobacco that should be against the law, not the pot. How many thousands does it kill each year? How much is it costing your health care system? Lost days at work or school?
    Here in Canada, we already have large warning labels, one of which is a sagging cigarette looking like a guy that needs Viagra! You can also no longer call a cigarette light, mild, or otherwise... They may not prevent smokers from smoking, but they do help keep the kids away from the poison. No more deaths from smoking is the goal.

    Lisa, Cape Breton

    June 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  159. Tabassum

    It's very endearing that the president wants to help society become healthier by placing limitations on specific items that may cause helth problems, but if regulating tobbaco is the first step towards reformation, then what's next? Prohibition? Shutting down all these fast food joints? Come on... We should be worried about more important things, like the economy and global warming, and the chaos going on in the other side of the world, than using more US dollars and lobbying for restrictions on tobacco.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  160. Dean Moore

    I thought the government already had all the power they need to do anything they want. It seems that way anyway. Cigarettes and smoking of all types should be banned completely because it is simply inhuman.

    Dean in Chile

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  161. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    YES. It is ingested, thus like any medication or food, so it should be regulated. Luckily no one in my family smokes NOW (never or stopped). In just one decade, we’ve lost ½ dozen family members to lung cancer. We have watched loved ones go through such terrible; excruciating painful deaths; that no one should ever have to go through. Tobacco is an additive substance; so ALL the power for controlling it.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  162. Steve

    Yup Jack Tobacco should be regulated. My wife and I are both smokers and wish that we never would have started. In relation to smoking regulation and healthcare costs, what about the cost of alcohol related medical problems to the taxpayer? Is the regulation of tobacco going to be like the "regulation of alcohol"?

    It would be interesting to see a comparison of alcohol related medical costs as opposed to smoking related costs.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  163. Willow, Iowa

    I finally quit six years ago, for the last time, when I could no longer afford it. People should be allowed to smoke if they want to. If they make it illegal, it will just go underground and we will have "smoke easies". I favor dropping the laws on marijuana also. Legalize it all, and tax the heck out of it.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  164. Bernabe in Toppenish, WA

    Republicans are always complaining about how much health care reform would cost, yet here is a solution that could potentially save the health care system 100 billion dollares yet since it involves the restriction of the poor tobacco companies advertising style of course they are going to reject this measure. Health care takes a second seat to big business yet again.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  165. Sean

    FDA regulation of a blatantly harmful drug is the first step toward the decriminalization of other harmful drugs like Marijuana. Soon, Alcohol will be treated like the detremental, yet enjoyable, drug that it is, and we will have to remember a skill long lost...self-control

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  166. Chris

    I think this is a great step in the right direction that could only be put into effect by someone who has gone through the struggle of an addiction. People criticized Obama in the past for his addiction but it has lead to stronger legal action that will save lives. I guarantee that many of the 52% who oppose this law are stuck in their own addiction and in reality need this law more than ever.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  167. Lyndon

    Since tobacco is, in part, responsible for out of control health care costs, then yes. As long as there is no regulation on the tobacco industry there will be continued high health care costs and a gross addiction to one of the deadliest vices in our society. It's known that tobacco is a killer and a prime contributor to the scourge of cancer. The government has a moral obligation to intervene since neither the tobacco companies nor a large segment of society have the will or ability to refrain from this deadly behavior.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  168. rosa bernal

    I believe that tobacco has had its day, if it were up to me it would be discontinued.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  169. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    The Government has such complete control over our other smoke option that they can even oppose a US state that wants to use it for medical purposes and it seems that Republicans and those with a high school education or less are more likely to support this Government control. How can they object now?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  170. Pat S SINY

    Of course not. Although I have never tried it (it stinks), smoking is legal. Just because the POTUS is weak, that doesn't mean others will be taken in. Don't blame companies selling a lawful product.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  171. William Trapnell

    Of course the government should have more control over tobacco. How long have the manufacturers themselves had to control themselves and not done anything?????? Why doesn't Gallup do a poll of only physicians in America and see how the vote goes there with regard to control of tobacco by the government? Anyone who is opposed to this measure is either ignorant, uncontrollably arrogant or greedy to the point of absurdity.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  172. Sean Emmett

    The louder the truth about cigarettes as a drug the better. The FDA must be bolstered and ready to counter the tsunami of resistance and slander that will flow from manufacturers. Hopefully the attacks on the FDA won't hamper it's ability to address other responsibilities.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  173. Steve (Pennsylvania)

    America citizens should have the right to Smoke tobacco. It is a choice that every citizen has the right to make. First it was automobiles, now tobacco. I am all for health care and quitting smoking, but If the government regulates the tobacco, what else will they control?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  174. Ted H

    Why is this even a question? Nicotine is a drug, the FDA stands for Food & Drug Administration, seems to me that sort of answers itself.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  175. Sean

    Jack, I think they've done enough. Regulate flavors, go for it! My concerns is how much more will they tax us for a bad habit that our President can't even control. He has money, what about millions that don't and have to lay out more and more for the same product.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  176. djemerson

    Firstly, how many people die each year of alcohol related illnesses? Secondly, how much money is spent each year on health related illnesses connected to alcohol? It's staggering. Don't just spout one "evil" and its effects - communicate all of them. In answer to your question - no. I do not believe the government should have it's hand in our vises (although I do like the requirement to disclose ingredients). If the government is going to stick its nose further into the lives of smokers, then the same should be done to the alcohol industry and to those who drink - if the alcohol industry gets equally trampled because of it ill effects, then I will finally believe that it is all about the health of the people, and not about the power of lobbyists.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  177. Kris Reilly

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. People CHOOSE to smoke, but we taxpayers have no choice in paying for their medical bills. When smokers pick up the tab for their tobacco-related illnesses, then the government can back off. Why should all of us have to pay for their bad habit when smokers can opt to give it up?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  178. lynne from NC

    I don't know if we need more regulation or not as far as cigarrettes. As one of the few folk in my family that does not have the habit, I can tell you that folk will smoke and drink when they feel like it because it is their free choice.

    As far as the President is concerned, given the mess that he's inherited and the idiots that he has to put up with from his own party and the Republican Party, I can understand him taking a smoke. Heck, he deserves to take several with what's on his plate, not to mention a good stiff drink.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  179. ray h, brookline, ma

    YES, the government should have as much power as it needs to rid this nation of this insiduous habit! Speaking from personal experience – my father died at the age of 62 after smoking for 40 years, I can tell you that the tobaco companies in this nation are no better than the wrose narco traficers that you find anywhere in this world. The only difference between the two is that the tobaco companies are aided and abbeted by the tens of millions of dollars that they spend lobbying Congress in order to continue their immoral ways.
    Ray H.
    Brookline, MA

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  180. Peter

    About time – that is, if the FDA can do its job – we know that is a big question mark.
    Seattle

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  181. Ryan fairfax, VA

    The government should regulate tobacco. The first thing the FDA should do is ban the additives used in most cigarettes and also look in to the health hazards of the Fire Standards Complaint cigarettes that make smokers sick almost instantly. I think this new law just establishes Phillip Morris ( one of the backers of the bill) market dominance. Will this help cut back on the number of smokers no, will it make it look like the government is trying to do something about tobacco, yes.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  182. Shawn Foreman

    I am a smoker in the trying to quit right now. I understand the danger of smoking and the health risks, but I am concerned about laws that limit my ability to do it. Where is the next attack after we have eliminated smoking? Will it be liquor? Fatty foods? Air pollution is killing people too. Do we ban cars? Obesity is killing people too. When do we start regulating everyone's diet? Personal responsibility is the problem, not the cigarettes. We can never pass enough laws to change unhealthy behavior. It's up to each person to change their behavior themselves.

    Shawn
    Grand Rapids, MI

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  183. Mary Fish

    How can this possibly still be a question? In Canada there is a law to prevent smokers from using tobacco while in a car with children! There are laws forbidding the open sale or advertising and tobacco products must be behind shutters opened only to retrieve packages for consumers. There is absolutly no smoking in public buildings or indoors other than ones own home and that is frowned upon. Many apartment buildings are smoke free.

    A pack cost a rediculous amount of money and there is zero tobacco advertising anywhere.

    I do not feel there is enough treatment and I believe tobacco is using product placement in broadcast television programming such as the program Intervention and in many Law and Order episodes for example.

    All of our tobacco packaging has multipul warnings about health and cost.

    I am sad that your lovely president is not finished with them and that he keeps saying it is so hard. I think it helps the nicotine dealers that we are all so attached to how hard it is to quit. He should be totally done and finished and say so in the same way that president Bush did with booze. If your president isn't able to quit how could you?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  184. Alex M.

    I wholeheartedly believe in new laws and regulations for tobacco companies. Much like the cost of produce, if it goes up, people will moan and groan BUT will still buy it. You have smokers constantly breaking the 20 ft. minimum distance to smoke near an establishment. Smokers constantly toss away their cigarette butts on the ground as if they were the only
    ones littering. Yes, I do agree that people have a right to smoke, but once you infringe on the health of people and the environment, the government needs to step in and handle these tobacco companies on a level that they're not used to.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  185. Jim Schroeder

    Sure, as long as they eliminate all foods with any fat content, foods containing sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oil. I do not believe partaking in these foods is relegated to people not having a college degree. In fact that was a pathetic statement of a self absorbed, self appointed person of importance.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  186. Jay

    The government makes us wear seat belts to keep us safe. It regulates liquor sales and sets age limits as to when you can drink. It locks up mass murders or kills them. Yet an industry that kills and injures millions each year gets a slap on the wrist. The government should sit the tobacco executives down and make them smoke one cig after another until they get the idea but they won't because they( politicians) are bought and paid for by the industry. Make them grow soy beans instead of tobacco.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  187. Mac K-Florida

    When will the government focus equal attention, and regulation, and added sin taxes on ALCOHOL? The costs to society and the US healthcare system from alcohol related illnesses, family abuse, DUI's, lost work productivity, and alcohol addiction is FAR more costly than the costs of tobacco. Why this focus on tobacco? Or doesthe alcohol industry just have a stronger lobby (and perhaps too many legilslators imbibe themselves?)

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  188. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Tobacco is a DRUG and the FDA should regulate it.

    Tobacco KILLS 100's of thousands of Americans yearly!

    IF terrorists were doing that, people would be out in the streets!

    @ Arnie Mori....... Are you perfect, sir? Obama slips and smokes, so?

    BUSH LIED and .......... 4300 Troops are DEAD!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  189. Steve from Auburn, NY

    Wouldn't it be great if tobacco farmers grew crops that actually helped humanity instead of sicken them.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  190. michael

    I am a smoker. If the taxes on tobacco is going up that will be fine. Only if it helps children who don't have insurance get insurance. And why don't they increase the taxes on alcohol. You never hear anything about taxes on alcohol. You hear more about alcohol [drunk driving] killing more people than you do about smoking. One is just as bad as the other. Why not on alcohol also?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  191. Sharon from Long Island

    YES!!! Obviously there is a direct correlation between health care costs and tobacco use. People want a cure for cancer, but no one is willing to do the work to prevent it? All people want are quick fixes, and we have learned by now that quick fixes do not exist unless it is a scam. Sorry to those who defend their beloved tobacco companies, but there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING healthy or positive about cigarettes. Also, with the poll on how more Democrats and college grads are more likely to support the bill than Republicans and H.S. grads, shows how more educated people make the right/educated decisions. Can you say duh?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  192. Bob Brooke

    Where does the Constitution grant the Government the power to dictate the conditions for a US citizen's use of tobacco. This is just another example of the Government overstepping the constitutional limitations on federal power.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  193. Michael McDowell, from Killeen, Texas

    Besides helping the two states Virginia and North Carolina that grow it, there is not one helpful or beneficial use that tobacco affords our country. Sir Walter Raleigh never knew the Pandoras Box he opened by taking that demon weed back to England. For all the harm it does, it needs to be eradicated and government needs to put Tobacco Row out of business once and for all!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  194. John Treleaven

    The answer to your question lies in the early graves of those who were told and believed, until it was too late, what the tobacco companies told them for year about the "benefits" of this habit.
    Certainly there must be control of this industry, and a compete prohibition on any and all forms of advertizing.
    Tobacco should not however be made illegal.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  195. Theresa

    I don't think the government should be able to regulate tobacco. While yes, a small percentage of smokers are underage, everyone else is old enough to make their own decisions. People don't smoke not knowing what it does to them. People know exactly what the health risks are and continue to do it anyways. The government stepping in isn't going to stop that.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  196. Scott Nygaard

    Really? Did you have to use the words "More", "Government" and "Regulation" in the same question? I bet I know the answer to this question.

    Scott
    Seattle, WA

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  197. Clint

    Thomas Jefferson once said, "If the people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny." Given the fact that America is the unhealthiest country in the world, perhaps he was right. Let the people eat what they want and have all the bad habits they wish. Does anyone realize the common after-effect of quiting smoking is gaining weight? Isn't that another health issue we are fighting? Jeffersons quote is also quite applicable to the legalization of pot too! What do you say to that FDA?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  198. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Name one thing that is beneficial about smoking tobacco, no let me tell you nothing! They cause lung cancer, they stink, they place tar in your lungs, they stain cloth, and break it down, and you can not keep that mess to yourself when you smoke it, and it is addictive! So why should we allow people to keep polluting our environment and drive up the cost of healthcare for no good reason at all! Smoking tobacco to kill yourself fast is just down right dumb!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  199. Odu From NYC

    As long as the government is required to pay healthcare cost (Medicaid/Medicare) that is being funded from the tax payer's pockets, by all means YES the government should regulate the tobacco industry. The president is most certainly a genius to do this. It is simple cause and effect logic at play here. Given the number of individuals who suffer from tobacco related illness, a vast majority probably includes the poor and innocent bystanders who are forced to be subjected to secondhand smoke both indoors and outdoors. Insanity is when one keeps complaining something is hurts but continues to do that which causes the hurt in the first place.

    People get so caught up in this country with 'it's my right" and "freedoms". Well it's my right as a taxpayer to not be forced to fund healthcare for those who cannot afford it yet continuously suction money from government funded programs through detrimental habits such as smoking and drinking. If the government is not allowed to do this, then the government should have the option to not provide Medicaid/Medicare for smokers and alcoholics (addicts or not) who are receiving healthcare from taxpayer dollars, plain and simple!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  200. Charles Thomas Campbell M.D.

    Regulate tobacco? Why do we even still have tobacco in this country? It has been decades since we have learned the deadly effects of smoking cigarettes and the billions of dollars in healthcare costs associated with smoking related diseases. We complain about health care costs but we do nothing to get rid of the one deadly commodity that causes more disease and death than any other product in the world. Are the tobacco lobbyists that wealthy and powerful that they can still peddle death and disease to the American people in spite of the overwhelming evidence against the sale and use of this horrifying product? Where is the common sense that we expect from our political and healthcare leadership?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  201. Louisa

    Jack,

    YES!!

    Louisa
    Hingham, MA

    June 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  202. Chris

    Why should there be such a question regarding a product that does nothing but raise the death toll of humanity every year? No one should have control over it because it shouldn't even exist; but if they insist, in my opinion, I think the government should have FULL power to regulate tobacco and hopefully completely stop the production of cigarettes.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  203. Nancy Wise

    You bet the government should, because they have authority and maybe someone who is addicted will listen. All you have to do is keep watching your father gasp for his last breathe, until he finally could not take another. When one smokes their first one, they should get the message because they always cough. Their bodies are telling them something!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  204. Lisa

    Yes, the government should get additional powers to regulate tobacco, and if it had had these powers decades ago, maybe smoking wouldn't still be such an enormous burden on our health care system now. Not to mention how the cost of tobacco affects those most likely to smoke, the poor. When you have to borrow $20 for gas and then your spouse spends $10 of it because he must have his ciggarettes, it's completely ridiculous.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  205. wendy zag

    I do not want to see more government regulation. However, I do not want tax dollars spent on tobacco related health care expenses. I think they should be excluded from any universal health care plan. I don't think those who make good choices should have to pay for those who don't!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  206. Wayne

    Jack,
    No, they are too interested in controling everything in our lives now. They won't be happy until we are all puppets and do everything just the way they want. What ever happened to the land of the free.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  207. Dawn from PDX

    tobacco should be totally illegal to sell in the US, due to the fact that 800,000 people die from it's use every year. the tobacco companies should be held responsible when someone dies and the government would have to be listed as a co-defendant due to the fact that they condone tobacco use by virtue of the bazillions of bucks that they collect in taxes every year... esentially LICENSING the sale of a deadly substance! so, yes... thegovernment should have the power to regulate tobacco and their first step should be to get themselves out of the running for liability by ceasing to recieve funds every time a pack is sold.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  208. Big John

    When Jack broke down the demographics of those who do not support this law it shows that Republicans and lesser educated individuals oppose it. This is just one more indication that the Republican Party is nothing but a coalition of the rich and their useful idiots. I do support this law as long as it doesn't become another gravy train for the law enforcement industry like Reagan's farcical "War on Drugs"

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  209. james sloan

    Dear Jack, at the age of ten I started smoking. By the age of 28 I was up to 3 packs a day. When my 4 year old son asked me for a cigarette, I gave it to him. He did not like it and campained me to quit. It worked. I think cigarettes should not only be gov. regulated, I think they should be banned. No one can give a good reason for smoking. I'm also tired of people who think they have the right to blow smoke in other peoploes' face. My son is 38 now and still does not smoke. Jim Sloan Phoenixville, Pa.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  210. John from Winter Park, FL

    As a Smoker myself I agree with Obamas Tobacco plan. Currently cigarettes are filled with all types of additives that make the addiction worse than it would be if you we're just smoking Nicotine. Hopefully FDA intervention will eliminate these added substances. Obama should also address a similar situation to Marijuana, which has been proven to be less of a health risk than Tobacco.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  211. Lilly

    Given the staggering health care costs related to heart and lung diseases directly related to smoking, it is in the best interest of all Americans for government to have additional powers to regulate tobacco. I am a nurse and a former smoker and I know first hand that nothing good comes from smoking. We must do everything we can to deter it.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  212. Nick, Chapel Hill, NC

    Would they just make it illegal already? Ohh wait, they wouldn't do that. Most of the price of tobacco is going to the government anyway. And they need every dime they can get.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  213. Jason

    Jack,

    Asking the government to regulate tobacco will work just as well as when it attempted to regulate alcohol during prohibition. If anything, let the government keep the tobacco away from our youth and wait for the adults to remove themselves from the gene pool through lung cancer.

    On a side note, absolutely no TARP money should go for any health issues relating to smoking!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  214. KEITH

    Yea, why not. They regulate everything now.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  215. john hartman

    Yes, the gov't should have additional power to regulate this product. Is there another product on the market that causes 400,000 deaths a year and adds over $100,000,000,000 in annual health costs? Any other product with this track record would be banned.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  216. Anna Hartline

    Tobacco companies could put a cross and skull bones, on cigarettes, and also state they cause, cancer, emphysema, bad breath and hardening of the arteries, but it would not deter people from smoking. That's how addicting tobacco is. It is more addicting than crack. It is the hardest habit in the world to break. I know. I smoked for 50 years. It would probably increase their value to kids, since rebellion is a youthful folly.

    I remember choking on that Lucky Strike, but I had to continue because it was the cool thing to do. Soon, I could not comb my hair without lighting a cigarette. It was so fashionable.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  217. David

    Why are we still worried about legalizing pot when it's obvious that tobacco has such graver long term complications. I've never seen someone die due to complications due to life long marijuana use. I have taken care of those that died due to COPD , pneumonia, lung cancer and other smoking related diseases. I guess the tobacoo industry's deep pockets allows them to do what they want regardless of the consequences. How about we cut out the middleman smokers and tax the companies that supply them with their drug of choice.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  218. Jeff

    These are changes that needed to be made. Smoking is extremely harmful! 400,000 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters every year! That is just ridiculous! Yes, the tobacco industry definitely needs to be regulated. There are things that are less harmful to the lives of humans that are illegal.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  219. Ni Rodriguez

    It shouldn't matter whether to do additional rules and regulations on tobacco.. Teens now can easily get there hands on it as Adults. If in 20 years our future generations deal with extra rules and regulations when they become adults it will be the same end result whether or whether or not a Male or Female will use tobacco...You can't sell Marijuana without getting arrested, so why doesn't the bodega man not be given the same arrest? Haze dealer = Arrest Lucy dealer = off the hook

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  220. Mike Henshaw

    Walk down any beach in FL, and you will see lots of nice folks, 70% of whom are tatooed, 50% with piercings, and 40% who smoke. You can't help wonder about how many tax dollars are going to treatment from smoking-good Lord, Jack, tatoo yourself, pierce yourself, but stop spending my money enjoying a body harmful habit that defies logic, self esteem and frankly, our imagination of why humans would intentionally inhale toxins.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  221. Mark

    They should regulate the flavors. They advertise taste like candy to our youth. I once endulged in the variety of exotic flavors and it made it so I didn't get sick of the habit.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  222. Louie

    There are many good reasons to stay away from tobacco,but why do you and the anti smoking zealots continue to ignore all of the studies that show that health care costs is not one of those reasons.As a very respected European study put it,smokers and obese people die younger,die faster,and are not a burden on society financially.How about someone that gets Altiimers at age 70 and lives to be 90. Which one costs the most.Them or a smoker that contacts lung cancer at age 70 and dies at age 72.
    Make your arguments,but please try using real data.Somehow,most of your arguments use only those"facts"you wish to use to prove a point

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  223. Jon Felzo

    How is this legislation any different than the 1998 tobacco settlement, oh , those were self- imposed regulations. Joe Camel doesn't start kids smoking, peer pressure does.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  224. Melissa R Boswell

    Absolutely!! If the government, as an extension of me and my taxes, have to pay for the health costs associated with smoking, the government has every right to create legislation to dampen the effects. If smokers want to smoke- go for it but then THEY should pay for the ALL of their healthcare themselves!! Why am I paying for THEIR choices? I also feel that way about some cases of obesity, drug addicts and other personal choices that end up costing the health care system BILLIONS of dollars a year becuase people can't make healthier choices. Freedom does not mean you put a burden on others becuase of your choices. Stop thinking about YOUR freedom to do whatever you want to do. What about my right to NOT pay for your choices? Oh wait, I don't have that right...

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  225. Sheri

    As an ex-smoker I can relate to the difficulty in quitting. It's really 100% or nothing. The key is to never pick up another no matter what.

    I think the government should regulate the tobacco industry and then tax it accordingly to cover those $100 billion health care costs.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  226. Gary Lawson

    Absolutely NOT. George Burns lived to 100 years and was counted as a "smoking related death". Give us a break.
    You claim 450,000 people die each year and that is the MOST preventable cause of death. With more than 1/3rd of all Americans overweight or obese, I am sure more people die from weight problems.

    I will be honest, I quit smoking in 1990 because of cost, but I son’t like being lied to.
    A little less propaganda would go a long way.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  227. Bill Huddleston

    Yes, medicinal tobacco like weed for cancer should only be allowed and then we can save health care $$$$, but prohibition as with alcohol would just make $$$ go to jungle tobacco growers. Oh, BTW, Jack you do have Carson's dry wit and brilliant Wolf like today's unspeakable loss of a wonderful man is the apparently "out of it" straight man!!! We love both the early and late great teams!!! (I refer to both time slot & heartbeat status)

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  228. Michael R. Murphy

    Jack:

    One thing perplexes me. How could George Washington Carve produce some 200 products from a peanut in a time without the techinical and lab resources we have now, but the only thing the tabacco companies can do, with all their resources, is to produce a product that kills our children.

    Yes! They should be regulated until they grow up. Life is not always easy.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  229. Aurora

    As far as I am concerned, the issue is not about giving more power to the government to regulate tobacco , but rather about doing in so in a totally idiotic and counterproductive way.

    This new law was engineered and worded by Phillip Morris, via Tobacco Free Kids, to protect its interest. As it stands, the new legislation will do more harm than good.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  230. Paul

    No. It is categorically NOT the government's business to regulate our lives. It's apalling in fact. It's not constitutional. It doesn't serve anyone at all. It only gives government more power over the people. And finally, although most brainwashed people will not believe this, tobacco does NOT CAUSE cancer. It may CONTRIBUTE to it once you have it (it's a MILD carcinogen), but it certainly doesn't cause it. Its cancer-causing properties pale next to just about everything else that surrounds us, from power lines to exhaust fumes to dumb politicians. Now they can really give you cancer, lol.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  231. Lewis, Tennessee

    How many people are in jail for selling weed? While cigarette companies purposely ADD addictive chemicals without even a slap on the wrist, even going so far as to target children.. because they are so sure of people not being able to kick the habit. Hmmm who do I call to get these people arrested, the FBI.???

    June 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  232. Sharon Waller

    Jack, as a retired nurse I would like to say the government should put into effect laws that would control the sale and manufacturing of all tobacco products. If people could see how smokers end up later on in life after abusing tobacco for many years maybe they would never start smoking. When you hear people begging for someone to help them take their next breath and coughing up what is left of their lungs, well needless to say it's not a pretty sight! How sad people pay a fortune to buy cigarettes only to help kill themselves! Just food for thought maybe the south could come up with another way to make money instead of growing tobacco which in turns cost's Americans trillions in dollars for their health care, which has been ruined through cigarettes and other tobacco products.
    Thanks,
    Sharon in Missouri

    June 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  233. Joan Sherman

    I am delighted that the tobacco drug is now under some supervision. Let's keep going and erase all tobacco subsidies.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  234. Craig in PA

    Jack, The tobacco companies lied to the government and the public denying that they were adding harmful substances to cigarettes for decades. It took time but the truth finally came out and we found out that they were enhancing the levels of nicotine.

    Tobacco companies have proven that they will always side on profits and not self regulate. One of the major health care expenses in America today is the costs related to tobacco use. Health care costs are one of the major issues facing the administration and every citizen.

    So if the tobacco companies can't be trusted to self regulate who else can force this. We know nicotine is an addictive and dangerous drug, so why is it not regulated by the FDA or, as with marijuana, banned outright.

    Those involved in tobacco production and marketing are complaining that such restrictions will hurt them. Yes, this is true, but they have shown that they are more interested in profits then the health, safety and public wellfair of America. History speaks for itself.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  235. Ken Swope

    No I do not think the FDA should regulate tobacco products. I think the DEA should. Any drug that turns people into addicts who will eventually die an agonizing death from their addiction should be illegal and banned outright. And the people who manufacture and sell it should be treated as criminals who should be arrested, indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated for at least as long as the leaders and dealers of any drug cartel. That's what the tobacco companies are – a drug cartel. The difference is that their product kills vastly more people than any other drug. Cigarettes are mass murder. Period.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  236. mark

    I want to start of by saying that i am a "smoker" and that i support the government on puting regulations on the tobacco industrty. I have tried to quite many times and have tried many different methods, none of them have worked. I think that they should ban tobacco products entirely. I know that that would cause a generation of smokers to suffer, but i would also save generations to come.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  237. Yvette, Virginia

    Hi Jack:
    Not unless the government stops footing the medical bills for tobacco users. You cannot eat your cake and have it.. I am certain the savings that will accrue from the ban will provide thousands of jobs for the unemployed and even give smokers something else to do. We need to stop the hypocricy and face reality. It is time that informed tobacco smokers are given the options – you smoke, you get sick, you foot your own medical bill,
    Thanks Jack.
    Yvette

    June 23, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  238. Domini Cane, Baltimore, MD

    "It’s estimated than more than 400,000 people still die every year from tobacco-related illnesses. Health care costs related to tobacco top $100 billion annually."

    These statistics qualify for the 'there are lies, damn lies, and statistics' adage. The methodology for calculating tobacco-related illness is a complete farce. e.g. 80 year old man dies from a heart attack. Did he smoke when he was a teenager? Yes. He died from tobacco.

    The latest 1000% tax increase on natural, chemical free tobacco, was lobbied for by the big tobacco companies to make the independent companies suffer the same fate as them, and the government went along with it! Unbelievable...

    Enough with the taxes, enough with the regulation, you're acting like following the Nazi agenda of regulating everyones life is a good thing.

    How much does the insurance company industry cost us annually? I bet it's much more than $100 billion.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  239. Dan Churches

    Yes smoking is bad for you and has been persecuted locally, on the state level and federal level for decades now. But in those decades how about taxes and regulations on the food we eat? How many deaths and health related costs are due to diabetes and being overweight?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  240. Steven Oliver

    Yes!
    Enough is Enough!
    This has gone on for too long, there are many, many people serving time for selling dangerous substances.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  241. Justin

    No, it's a slippery slope. How much of our freedom and our ability to make our own choices as Americans will be taken away by politicans in DC. Our freedom is what makes America great!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  242. Doctor Harley

    Yes, the government should have the right to intervene. As a urologist, I can tell you that in addition to lung cancer and emphysema, smoking causes bladder cancer and erectile dysfunction, not to mention heart disease, just to name a few illnesses. Just as obesity is a huge problem also increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, etc. We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on health care in the absence of prevention, and in many ways on illnesses that are the result of lifestyle choices. With our healhcare system imploding and the cost of Medicare skyrocketing, either the government has to take some control or those who choose to injure themselves should shoulder a greater portion of the cost of healthcare. Why should the taxpayer who chooses a healthy lifestyle, bear the burden for those who do not.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  243. Esther Whittle

    YES! YES!
    ALSO, the tobacco companies should be required to provide medication to smokers to HELP them quit smoking.
    My son, Jason, was addicted to nicotine. Last year he chose to quit by using Commit. It not only cured his nicotine addition, but stopped his cravings for alcohol. As a mother who has watch loved ones die from smoking, I am all for making tobacco sales illegal. Give us medical marijuana and help the nation break its addiction to tobacco.
    I have serious respiratory health problems from second-hand smoke. Both of my parents died from smoking related illness, as did my grandfather. My ex-husband has been fighting cancer due to his smoking habit. I rejoice that he is now suffering more than I am since he refused to stop beating me for getting ill as a result of him polluting my lungs with his filthy tobacco smoke. That is why I divorced him. I abhor smokers. They have to first admit that they are drug addicts.
    One smoker told me that she's not a drug addict because the US government does not recognize nicotine as an addictive drug.
    Her logic is ridiculous, of course. Most of the lawmakers are drug addicts, too. So why would they legally recognize nicotine as an addictive substance? Same with alcoholic beverages.
    Sorry that this is so long. This is my pet peeve. Esther Whittle

    June 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  244. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    Yes, I think tobbaco should be regulated. This crap of adding something to attract young teens or younger should not be allowed. As far as getting the Southern voters, they did not vote for our new President anyway. I'm sure those GOP Crooks get paid off from the big Tobbaco Company's.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  245. Tom Hurst

    I started smoking when I was 12 and quit two years ago with the help of Chantix. I am 47 now.
    Can we really continue playing with the lives of teens that are hooked on nicotine? They are being exploited. The tobacco companies will stretch the rules of regulation just as the banks recently. More regulation of the tobacco companies is necessary and needs the light of law!
    My heart goes out to President Obama. Quitting takes great practice. You'll get there!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  246. Gary Lawson

    Absolutely NOT. George Burns lived to 100 years and was counted as a "smoking related death". Give us a break.
    You claim 450,000 people die each year and that is the MOST preventable cause of death. With more than 1/3rd of all Americans overweight or obese, I am sure more people die from weight problems.
    Shouldn't we be regulating food hiring exercise police?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  247. Hope M. Madisonville, Kentucky

    Doesn't matter if we like it or not, they are doing it. I think they are wrong to change the "light" designation because that's what I have
    smoked for nearly 40 years. Full flavor cigarettes make me cough. How will I know which brand to buy?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  248. victoria

    Of course it should be regulated. If marijuana is illegal, and yet there is no proof that it can kill you, why is tobacco legal? doesn't 'make any sense, Jack.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  249. Stephen

    Of course, as long as they regulate any other drug, why shouldn't they regulate such a killer like nicotine?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  250. Sandra

    Jack, I think that the government should regulate the tobacco industry. Not ban, but control what goes into cigarettes. I like many others felt resentment toward anyone who tried to push me to stop smoking by word or deed. I was so angry at Mayor Bloomberg for raising prices of cigarettes thereby making it harder and harder for me to purchase them, especially after I was out of work.
    I was so wrong. I have not smoked in over a year and I have to thank the Mayor for forcing me to accomplish this extremely hard but important change in my life.

    NYC

    June 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  251. Mark in Sacramento

    To "regulate" tobacco? "Regulate" – really? Tobacco kills almost half a million people a year and we're talking about regulating it? If the FDA doesn't outlaw tobacco then what criteria is it using to ban dangerous substances?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  252. Dick Hague

    If the FDA does as good a job of "regulating" tobacco as they have watching over the food supply, expect an increase in the number of smokers and a government program to subsidize them. Don't these idiots realize that when you cut the nicotine content it just makes you smoke more cigarettes? Sounds like a tax increase to me! After a heart attack four years ago I went cold turkey after being a heavy smoker for over fifty years. Now I can look forward to dying a more miserable death at a later age and probably bankrupting my family making some clinic rich. Fat people look out. They are coming after you next.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  253. donald wiggins

    People are still upset over vietnam deaths. We have built a wall to their memorial and rightly so yet during the same 8 yrs of that war approximately THREE MILLION lives were lost in the U S due to CIGARETTES. That can't be that hard to figure out.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  254. Joe from Missouri

    Addiction is addiction no matter what form it takes. A recovered alcoholic myself (and current smoker) I understand the sentiment attached to such a law but the fact is that a smoker will only quit when they are ready to quit, just as the alcoholic must find a bottom before they are willing to do anything about their drinking. Imagine the hollering if the government were to impose a six dollar a six pack tax to take care of the accident victims, the paraplegics and disfigured people and the law suits from the car accidents caused by drunk driving. Why don't we hear any stats on what alcohol costs this nation every year? I know the current bill is to keep tobacco companies from targeting our children but why stop at cigarettes? My son doesn't smoke. He detests smoking. That's because his father told him and kept telling him how bad and how addictive it is. He had his turn with drinking but found out soon why his father no longer drank. The help is in the home, not in Washington.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  255. brenda from atlanta

    Jack,
    All we can do is hope that the FDA will do its job to regulate tobacco. Since food and drugs are still yet to be protected from greedy corporations making profits off sick Americans. This product should be banned and I really hope that the regulations will put that industry out of business. It is one of the major thorns piercing the healthcare industry. Tobacco has done its job, causing cronic ilnesses and early death and it is time to put it down.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  256. shaul

    its all kind of scary to me. it seems like this law is one step closer towards a complete police state. today its cigarettes – tomorrow its hoagies.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  257. James White

    SMOking is hazarduz to ur health...

    Cigars and cigarettes all contains nicoteen that cause the thinking process to accelerate in making us smarter in solving problems while relaxes tensions of the nerve at the same time. However, it is addicting thereby must quit because it is a bad habit.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  258. Sam

    The government should use realistic educational approaches to convince people to quit smoking instead of unfair taxation (which really amounts to illegalization for low income people) and the FDA control. Also, I would like clarification of the reported $100,000,000,000 in "additional" medical costs caused by cigarettes. What would the lifetime medical costs of those 400,000 people have been had they never smoked and eventually developed cardiovascular diseases or cancer (the biggest killers) a few years later without ever smoking? And while on costs to society, what amount of social security and other retirement benefits are saved by the presumed "premature" deaths of smokers?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  259. Steve--Tucson, AZ

    It's about time the government regulated tobacco just as other drugs have been for years. As a smoker, I fully support legislation whose aim is to prevent future generations from smoking or that helps current smokers to kick the habit. It seems fair that tobacco is treated in the same respect as any other substance monitored by the FDA.

    If the US government is to hope for health-care reform of any sort in the near future, this legislation will act as a necessary segue for the promotion of a healthy America.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  260. mark in tacoma, wa.

    What! Did I see this correctly Jack! You mean the feds have never directly regulated this poisonous industry before signing this new legislation. Does the government let spoiled food get eaten or allow employers to force you to work in an unsafe environment? This is way overdue. I'm a smoker and I need all the help I can get to end my habit.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  261. Charlie Stout

    There is an ethical issue here. I would imagine that the cigarette company has a division within there company, that focuses directly on sales, and the apperance of their product. Now as most of us know, cigarettes are sold in a box or a soft pack, either way they come in somekind of wrapping or covering. I am sure that the apperance of the exterior covering in some degree, has an effect on their sales, and is partly responsible for bringing in new customers. If they are told what they must and must not have on their product, then the Government would be infringing on their constitutional right to express their own artistic views on the packaging. Then, the Big Government would also have a large part in their declin of sales. If the cigarette company has to put grotesque pictures on their product, then where will we draw the line? I would assume that it would only be right to enforce the same laws on all alcoholic products, and any other products that has an adverse effect on our society. Now, the government also has an argument here. It is their job to make sure that society is well informed, and protected from any dangers. With the peoples best interests in mind, the government will want them to see the horrific effects cigarette smoking has on your body. Although most people are aware of the effects of cigarette smoke,Seeing these images every time you pull a cigarette out of the pack, may help to turn people away from the habit, and in the long run save lives.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  262. mark

    bob in florida. that is on of the best ideas i have heard. i hope they are listening.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  263. Richie in South Dakota

    Years since the initial restrictions placed on tobacco companies and we still exhibit an alarmingly high rate of teenage smokers. Tobacco is a narcotic, harmful to the smoker and everyone around them. Smokers continue to display blatent disregard for the non-smoking men, women, and children around them. I believe that it is nothing short of pathetic for people to defend a substance that is quite literally killing them – 38,000 people die per year in the US from second hand smoke and 1 in 5 smokers die from cancer. Tobacco is "one of the strongest cancer-causing agents" according to the National Cancer Institute. I support a full ban of Tobacco use in public areas, my state has already passed such a ban. This law is a landmark in the fight against tobacco, if people wish to harm themselves then they are welcome to do so but they should do it on their own time. Anyone who regularly smokes in public is responsible for the death of 38,000 people – So, smokers, can you live with that?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  264. Mindy

    Our government cannot successfully regulate what it already has tasked itself to; why does anyone think that Tobacco regulation will do anything more than cost the American taxpayer money, while smokers still smoke (and drain our health-care coffers dry in the process) and Tobacco Company giants still rake in the money hand over fist.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  265. Kara

    There is no doubt in my mind that the government should have the right to regulate tobacco especially when healthcare cost related to smoking tops over $100 billion (just wondering how many of these people are uninsured). Listen, why do we keep saying should the government regulate this... and mandate that..etc. Please keep in mind that we are the government. I am the government and yes Jack... you're the government too. There really is no difference between we the people and those elected officials on Capitol Hill. These are some of the policies that the majority of Americans elected our government officials to push through. Please, lets stop separating ourselves from the government as if the government is an entity in itself. Next, we need to push this Universal Health Care Plan through. It's nothing new and is obtainable. We can ask Canada, England, Turkey, or we can even ask Cuba....'How'd you do that". Let's face it , the insurance companies have so many politicians in their pockets that i'm afraid this universal healthcare reform plan will never take off.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  266. Janice

    Hi Jack,

    No, the government should not regulate what the tobacco industry does with its marketing, branding, nicotine levels, etc. If we allow this, then alcohol and junk food should be next. There are a lot of reports on television these days about what smokers cost in health care claims, but you rarely hear those reports on what obesity and alcoholism cost in health care costs. Why is the cost of health care such a topic of discussion, when smokers pay a higher premium for their health benefits? Can we say the same with those individuals who over indulge on alcohol or food? Leave this alone and find something else to regulate!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  267. Terry Phillips

    From Bentonville, Arkansas

    Yes, of course the government should be regulating such an extremely addictive drug. The poll showing opposition to it must be a mistake. I know there are a minority of Americans with their heads shoved up Fox News' rear end who might parrot some idiotic position like unregulated cigarette sales, but it can't possibly approach 52%. Don't get me wrong. I favor legalization of all drugs. But there needs to be regulation and government controls, especially where the drugs are potentially addictive. With tobacco, "potential" does not apply. It is worse than heroin.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  268. Peter H. Greene

    -– Message Text -–
    Smoking deaths are surely sufficient reason to regulate tobacco whether or not they raise health care costs, but I'd like to see a definitive study of whether they actually do raise costs. Cyanide pills are deadly too, but taking them would lower health care costs. Nonsmokers will incur health care costs too for what eventually ails them, plus additional health costs because on he average they live longer. surely Is there good information about the cost comparison?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  269. kh123

    "College graduates and Democrats are more likely to support it… while Republicans and those with a high school education or less are more likely to be against it."

    Well, no surprise – I suppose those of us who have gone through higher educational institutions (which espouses socialism) would welcome more gov't involvement in every aspect of our lives. Which of course means less freedom of choice...

    But who's counting liberty when we're talking about collectivized utopias (read: college campuses). Mom and dad pay for your college years; Federal Government pays for your adult life: Since we have the first firmly established in our culture, why break precedent?

    Personally, I can't wait until they start taxing sun bathing – is a dangerous past time that leads to a form of cancer (melanoma), and those crowded shorelines in Florida and California sure could rake in the dough for the Almighty Federal Government. Besides, we wouldn't be good neighbors unless we saved those wayward high-school educated beachgoers from costing the country more in medical expenses. The Fed. Gov't needs to step in and regulate those ignorant masses from irradiating themselves via the Sun...

    ...Except of course during Spring Break. Those obviously more intelligent college folks who throng to the beach in the millions could get a melanoma tax exemption for the one week, on the basis of their political/class reliability.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  270. Sarah N.

    No more government regulations. Culture will change on its own. Need an example? Smoking is akin to using non-politically correct speech–both are not culturally supported. People who break from the social norm tend to be alienated or isolated from activities. Let culture combat smoking. Enough of government meddling. Enough!

    Why is it that people in government think they can legislate personal responsibility? People make poor choices every day. So What! Who cares?

    You may say, well the costs of smoking are so high--and so is obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, pneumonia in the elderly, and on and on. And your point is what? So the smoker burdens the HC industry a bit. I also recall hearing that healthy people cost the HC system the same because they live longer.

    People let us just tend to our own business and keep the government out of all of our business. K?

    🙂

    June 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  271. Ron - Oklahoma

    As much as I hate it, the Government probably does need to be more involved. I have smoked for 50 years. I used to defend the tobacco companies, but no more. I have tried pills (prescription and over-the-counter), patches, gum, lozenges, hypnosis, support groups, etc. to no avail. Finally, I tried the e-cigarettes, and there is some hope on the horizon. But now, the FDA wants to ban them too. The Government needs to support whatever actually works to help those of us who have serious problems with quitting. Tobacco is a plague to both young and old (and all in between). I started when it was “cool” but now I am an outcast because of it. I want to do all I can to stop anybody from smoking.

    Ron
    Oklahoma

    June 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  272. KEITH

    Censorship at it;s best!!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  273. Jordan--Atlanta, GA

    No,we don't need any more regulation. Just drop the other shoe and ban cigarettes. Just do it. We banned lead paint. We banned DDT. What is the logic behind not banning cigarettes?

    Cigarettes by design cause addiction and then eventually kill you.
    We protect this useless deadly product so some politically connected fat-cats who don't care whether you live or die can make a buck.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  274. Jami

    What makes everyone think that people living longer as non-smokers is cheaper than paying for smoking related health-care costs?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  275. Dilli Thapa

    This regulation is not going to make any difference. Tobacco is a legal and as long as it is ,people will buy . If you are serious then ban this product which is not going to happen because Govt makes a lot of money out of it!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  276. Jami

    I wonder who the new Al Capone is going to be.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  277. Christi

    Either they regulate tobacco, or they don't allow these people to get on the government subsidized health program/s...whatever that's going to turn out to be!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  278. luvwknd

    No, the USA is not a socialist country! The less government intervention the better!

    June 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  279. Joe

    I can't believe how indoctrinated everybody in America has become! You're practially begging them to do it. You are giving away your freedoms one by one. And for what? For yet another falsification and lie! Tobacco is a poison in excessive amounts, sure. But it's *not* a drug. There are many much worse poisons that you gladly buy every day and you don't say a word about that. You have stopped using your brains and you won't even do simple research on the interenet to open your eyes. Evidence against tobacco is largely statistical, remember that! It's just a political tool. There is no cause-effect relationship here. Never was and never will be. If there was, my entire family who always live well into their 90's or even top 100's (and almost all are smokers) would be dead many times over. It's about how you live your life and what you eat. I won't convince you because for you it is a religion. Unproven but accepted as truth. After all the government has been telling this lie for years, so you believe it. Tell a lie enough times and sure enough it becomes true. But even if it was, the government has no right in hell to regulate our private lives. Stay out! Goodbye freedom.

    Joe Darwin, Spain, formerly NYC

    June 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  280. Katie Williams

    YES.
    As a 7-year smoker (since age 17), I completely support the government going after tobacco companies. I don't know, nor have I ever known, a single fellow smoker to crave a candy or fruit-flavored cigarette. As for flavored cigarillos, the only times I've known those to be purchased were by marijuana smokers for the intent of cutting open and using the flavored tobacco leaf as a blunt wrap. Also not relevant for real, adult tobacco smokers.
    I'm a 24-year old college dropout (with the intent on going back). I vote Democrat, and my mother calls me a conservative liberal.
    The only thing that should drive a person to want to smoke is stress – not biased ads making it seem cool, and certainly not child-targeted tobacco products.
    I've never agreed with the misadvertising of products due to the "light" or "medium" labels. The only thing that differs in those cigarettes is the taste to consumers. If it tastes less harsh, then it MUST be healthy, right? Wrong.
    Go get 'em, big bad government. But please, don't raise the prices any further. Rolling tobacco prices recently doubled, and although I would like to quit, driving my already depleted bank account down further isn't helping anybody.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  281. Gustave Exama( Massachusetts)

    Government power is always seen as a threat to civil liberty. When Americans' well-being declined, the government is blamed for and criticized and voted out. Should Washington turn blind eye on big businesses that are determined by all means to make profits at any price including the health of Americans? The answer is absolutely no. Big businesses do not care about people, they invest big money through K street to elect the gov't that will let them do whatever they want against the will of the people. With soaring health care costs, the gov't needs more power, ever before, to protect the American youth.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  282. Kea from Honolulu

    I hate them smart college people taking away my smokes. Now what am I supposed to do on my shift breaks at McD's?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  283. chris from kentucky

    I agree with Mack from Mi; it is my choice to smoke, i have been informed about how bad cigarettes are for me, i know i get it. But let me ask you, when was the last time you saw a cigarette ad or ads to kids? i have not seen one in so long that i am starting to think maybe it is a talking point for people that don't like smokers. if the government wants people to quit smoking cigarettes then why not legalize marijuana i know more people will quit cigarettes then. but will they say that too is targeted to kids....wait, too late drug dealers do that all ready so where is the regulation really needed?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  284. KSC

    No. Those two old codgers at the FDA (the grouches in the balcony, on the old Muppet Show?) have never been able to monitor Food or Drug safety in the US! If Obama gives them the additional task of judging tobacco manufacture standards, they will kill themselves, inhaling, in their foolish attempt to eliminate a major source of government tax funding.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  285. lori b

    As a pack a day smoker, NO, I don't think gov't needs more regulation on tobacco. For starters smoking is not a disease to be cured. It is a choice one makes. Second, nobody seems to be talking about better regulation on alcohol(the other part of ATF). Alcohol kills your liver people, so what is the difference? You kill your liver, I kill my lungs. We will both die happy. Me with a cigarette, you drunk!!! What is the cost per year spent on psorosis of the liver, lives lost in drunk driving accidents, families ruined by alcoholism? Yes, nobody is talking about this. I'd bet the cost (tobacco vs alcohol) is greater on the alcohol side, but since the country is full of people that drink, I'm the bad guy for smoking(I don't drink by the way). It's called being prejudice against smokers. I've never heard of someone getting killed in an auto accident because they were smoking a cigarette or a joint, but have buried a step son that was killed in an auto accident that was alcohol related. Guess what....He did not smoke.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  286. Ron

    It is no surprise that smokers and Republicans oppose any regulation of tobacco. More than 20 years ago I ask the CEO of the company if they would stop smoking in the work place as I had to breath it all the time? He said there were no plans to do that.

    I have opposed the tobacco companies as they lied about smoking and as usual, Republicans are right there with them. We need a law against that the party of the stupid as well.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  287. Mitch Nieto

    My father died from a heart attack at age 61 resulting from his long addiction to cigarettes. There can be no doubt now that, over the years, the tobacco companies manipulated the levels of nicotine in order to keep their customers hooked on their products. My father was one of those who couldn't quit. If makers attempted to introduce cigarettes today – the US government wouldn't allow it due to the harm it would cause. The societal costs for tobacco use are so high that the US government should take steps to ween US smokers and get to a point where use of tobacco is prohibited. My father would adamantly disagree with my opinion – two days before he died he said that, if having to choose between giving up cigarettes and living ten more years or continuing to smoke on borrowed time, he would choose cigarettes. He got his wish.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  288. Gary In Lexington

    Jack:

    I am sorry, but absolutely not. Do you regulate alcohol and obesity? No, and both kill far many more people than smoking does. It is just that you will not regulate drinking because of all the drinkers. And, like drinkers, there are many more fat people than smokers, and you cannot regulate fat. What about all the "legal" pill-popping adults and children, it is totally out of control...how do you regulate that problem? Give me a break, there are hundreds of things that people do that kill far more people than smoking does.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  289. steve

    Here in dry California every day there is a roadside fire caused by a smoker throwing a burning cigarette from a car on windy day.
    Each of these fires cost at least several thousand dollars to put out.
    Each citizen in California has to pay for these fires.

    In The same way everyone who goes to the hospital with a cancer or other respiratory or other illness related to smoking each taxpayer gets the bill.

    there are high taxes on cigarettes now, but not nearly high enough to cover these costs.
    Taxes from the sales of Cigarettes and tobacco products need to be raised substantially and these funds earmarked for fire and hospital uses, to pay for smoking related cancer and other respiratory illnesses directly related to smoking, in other words, Hospitals would have to apply to for funds from those who do not have insurance to pay for their treatment.

    The tax money should NOT be put in the general fund.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  290. Dan Kubiske

    What so many of the commenters failed to understand is the difference between regulate and ban.

    So many comments relate to BANNING tobacco. The new legislation does not do this. It REGULATES it. Just as booze, drugs, and so much more in our lives are regulated.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  291. Trey Smith

    I laid next to my mother as she died from a heart attack, let's outlaw beef. My grandmother died from liver disease, let's outlaw alcohol. My grandfather died of diabetes, let's outlaw sugar. I have a friend who died after being hit by a car, let's outlaw cars. Come on, where does it end?

    June 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  292. ellen

    The fact that we all have to pay for the consequences of cigarette smoking in lost wages, increased medical costs, second hand smoke complications, and on and on, we NEED the government to get involved. You remember, the government is all of US and when some of us impact all of us negatively, the government SHOULD be there to intervene.

    June 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm |