The Government War Against Quitting Smoking

The Government War Against Quitting Smoking

This headline might be more telling for my piece today in National Review Online, co-authored with Gregory Conley from Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives.

Earlier this month, the government announced it is falling behind the goal to bring smoking rates down below 12% by 2020.

This, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in government anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette taxes. The CDC now estimates that the smoking rate will be 17 percent in 2020, far short of the sub–12 percent goal set by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

So what do the extreme anti-tobacco groups and Obama administration officials want to do to get back on track? According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, they should be doing more of the same. The news, they write in a press release,

underscores the need for elected officials at all levels to more aggressively implement proven measures to reduce tobacco use.

Not only do their tactics reduce freedom, cost a lot of money, and not work, their approach actually makes things worse by making it harder for smokers to quit.

Groups like Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids have remained steadfast in their adamant opposition to many commonsense strategies for making tobacco less deadly. The most egregious example is their continued prohibitionist stance towards electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine to the user in a water-like vapor that does not contain the deadly amalgamation of particles found in tobacco smoke, have caught on over the last half-decade with smokers looking for less risky ways to get nicotine, or even trying to quit entirely.

Who is paying for these counter-productive campaigns against private-sector solutions that are helping people quit smoking? You are. Read on.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.