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The W - Current Events & Politics - FDA to monitor smoking?
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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.14
Today the Senate passed a bill to give the FDA say over what Tobacco Companies do. Click Here (msnbc.msn.com)

I'm a light to moderate smoker (3-7 per day) and don't really want to quit right now, but I wouldn't be against a cigarette with less crap in it. The FDA would have a ton of say in things and I'm fine with them putting crazy warnings on packs, limiting advertising and whatever, but I also don't really want to pay $10 a pack either.

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Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 481 days
Last activity: 441 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
Several of the changes have already begun taking effect because the cigarette companies knew the change was inevitable. That inevitability was companies they were rushing to get any new brands like Marlboro 54s or Camel #9s or the Camel SNUS chewing tobacco out before the bill became law, because of the provision that requires tobacco companies to get approval from the FDA before releasing the product. The provision about banning the terms "Lights", "Milds", "Mediums", "Ultra Lights", et cetera has already started (the FDA believes these names make people think these products are safer).

Because of this, RJ Reynolds has changed most of its brands of cigarettes (though not yet Camels) to avoid those names. Salem Lights, for example, are now Salem Golds. Salem Ultra Light are Salem Silvers. Pall Mall Lights are Pall Mall Blues, and Pall Mall Ultra Lights are Pall Mall Orange. Philip Morris, on the other hand, has put a new label on the outer packaging which states "Lights refer to flavor. Lights are not healthier, and Lights will not help you quit smoking" (or something to that effect). I wonder if that will satisfy the FDA. Two things I think about RJ Reynolds plan:

1. A new smoker (I'm assuming that there will continue to be new smokers) isn't going to have any idea what the difference is between Salem Gold and Salem Silver.

2. It has lead to a lot of miscommunication between customers and the people they buy their cigarettes from. A lot of these people are set in their ways and are going to continue to call them by their old name. I'm already forgetting which kind is which, which led to a bit of an argument from a guy who thought I was giving him the wrong kind (bottom line: I was). For most brands, Gold means Light, and Silver means Ultra Light, but that's not true of Pall Malls or Monarchs. And don't get me started on Capri brand cigarettes, which are now known as Capri Magenta, Capri Indigo, and Capri Violet. If we hire a new employee they're going to suffer a ton of abuse from customers who don't understand why they can't easily locate the cigarette they are naming.

The other noticeable change is the banning of flavors in tobacco products. I assume this applies to cigars as well. This is going to basically kill the single-serve cigarillo (small cigar) market, which comes in a ton of different flavors. I'm sure these flavors are popular with young smokers (why wouldn't they be), so that's probably why they're being banned.

Not saying it's not right of the FDA to do such things, just annoyed that it's going to create a lot of hassle that the end retailer is going to have to deal with. Combine that with the state of Wisconsin switching to FSC cigarettes (which for Philip Morris is an entirely different UPC, which means I have to add 400 new UPCs to our systems) and the recent tax hikes, and cigarettes have been a lot of hassle recently.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.18
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
    I also don't really want to pay $10 a pack either.


Cigarettes being $10 a pack doesn't mean you have to buy them. In fact, I've always assumed that's the primary purpose behind driving up the prices.

EDIT because I should elaborate:

The argument I always hear in defense of cigarettes is that they are "a personal choice." Even if it is dangerous, a person has the right to choose that. And I agree with that reasoning.

But does it stop being a personal choice when they are $10 a pack? I guess it does in the sense that some people just won't be able to afford it, but if that's the reasoning, driving a car isn't a personal choice. Nor is flying in a plane. Living in a house probably isn't. Neither is attending a university.

Cigarettes are a health hazard to everyone, not only the smokers, so I have no problem with heavy, heavy regulation and even taxation on the products.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 12.6.09 1033)
dMp
Banger








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 6 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
      I also don't really want to pay $10 a pack either.


    Cigarettes being $10 a pack doesn't mean you have to buy them. In fact, I've always assumed that's the primary purpose behind driving up the prices.

    EDIT because I should elaborate:

    The argument I always hear in defense of cigarettes is that they are "a personal choice." Even if it is dangerous, a person has the right to choose that. And I agree with that reasoning.

    But does it stop being a personal choice when they are $10 a pack? I guess it does in the sense that some people just won't be able to afford it, but if that's the reasoning, driving a car isn't a personal choice. Nor is flying in a plane. Living in a house probably isn't. Neither is attending a university.

    Cigarettes are a health hazard to everyone, not only the smokers, so I have no problem with heavy, heavy regulation and even taxation on the products.

    (edited by TheBucsFan on 12.6.09 1033)


But you do not have a choice to get from place A to B. You will need a car or a plane. The personal choice here is "do you take the bike, public transport, etc for whatever personal reason.

You do have a choice when it comes to smoking. If the costs outweigh the urge to smoke, the choice becomes easy.
From what I see around it here in the Netherlands it only partially helps. If you want to smoke you will still smoke.
Though I know of several people that cut down so they don't have to buy a pack a day.




Avatar Mud
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.18
    Originally posted by dMp
      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
        Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
        I also don't really want to pay $10 a pack either.


      Cigarettes being $10 a pack doesn't mean you have to buy them. In fact, I've always assumed that's the primary purpose behind driving up the prices.

      EDIT because I should elaborate:

      The argument I always hear in defense of cigarettes is that they are "a personal choice." Even if it is dangerous, a person has the right to choose that. And I agree with that reasoning.

      But does it stop being a personal choice when they are $10 a pack? I guess it does in the sense that some people just won't be able to afford it, but if that's the reasoning, driving a car isn't a personal choice. Nor is flying in a plane. Living in a house probably isn't. Neither is attending a university.

      Cigarettes are a health hazard to everyone, not only the smokers, so I have no problem with heavy, heavy regulation and even taxation on the products.

      (edited by TheBucsFan on 12.6.09 1033)


    But you do not have a choice to get from place A to B. You will need a car or a plane. The personal choice here is "do you take the bike, public transport, etc for whatever personal reason.

    You do have a choice when it comes to smoking. If the costs outweigh the urge to smoke, the choice becomes easy.
    From what I see around it here in the Netherlands it only partially helps. If you want to smoke you will still smoke.
    Though I know of several people that cut down so they don't have to buy a pack a day.



What I meant was, I don't see higher taxes or stiffer regulation as the government taking away people's ability to make that choice in any meaningful way. But I guess I used some bad examples.
Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 481 days
Last activity: 441 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
If they're going to charge $10 a pack (which I understand no one is seriously considering, but for the sake of argument) they should ban them entirely. There's a percentage of the population who wouldn't be able to afford cigarettes who wouldn't quit.

What are they going to do? There are several options.
You can steal a carton from somewhere. The more something that you crave costs, the more incentive there is to steal it.

Or a black market of unregulated cigarettes can open up.
This is probably the worst that could happen, because then all your efforts to keep cigarettes out of the hands of minors goes down the drain.

Or people will exploit loopholes. Around here, people will make the two hour drive to the closest Native American reservation, where they can buy cigarettes at a drasticly lower price because they aren't subject to state and federal taxes.
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 21 hours
Last activity: 3 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.43
To be honest, the FDA would never pass cigarettes if they came up for review. Lucky for the cigarette companies didn't happen. I don't see it as a huge change since the FDA should have been in charge of this from day one instead of waiting for others to do their charge and track how bad it is.

I will argue that smoking control is getting out of hand when it comes bars and other places where it is your choice to enter. My wife on occasion smokes and pisses me off, because its just a way for her to feel like a bigger person in our group of friends. I say tax it as much as you want just make sure it gets to the right places instead of wherever this money usually goes.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 29 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.42
The most logical option is a black market in tobacco. The mob will ove this as they are already in it.





Perception is reality
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 hour
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo


    Or people will exploit loopholes. Around here, people will make the two hour drive to the closest Native American reservation, where they can buy cigarettes at a drasticly lower price because they aren't subject to state and federal taxes.


People already do something like that. Here in MD, sin taxes have driven up the prices of cigarettes (to what, I don't know, I don't smoke) to be significantly higher than WV and VA. People in vans and SUVs have made drives down 95 and loaded up and hauled them up to MD.

The thing is that the ATF are wise to it and there have been busts for illegal smuggling of cigaretts. The Man wants their share of taxes because their belief is that when people smuggle 100s of cartons, they're for resale, not personal use.

Here's a report of a recent bust: http://www.wtop.com/​?​nid=600&​sid=1683486

And an older report: http://no-smoking.org/​march04/​03-​01-​04-​3.html


I'm all for sin taxes. I don't smoke or drink. I don't really care if a pack creeps up to $6 or $8 or $10 a pack. One of my best friends quit smoking cold turkey back in 07 because she was sick of how much she was spending on her two pack a day habit. She sat down and actually calculated how much money she smoked away.

She's been smoke-free for almost two years now and is quite happy with her decision. I know not everyone would make that choice, but that's what higher taxes are supposed to do. It gives some people an excuse to quit, and gouge the ones who choose not to try and quit the addiction.

(edited by Zeruel on 12.6.09 1851)


-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

"I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office."
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RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

Since last post: 72 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.17
DrDirt:The most logical option is a black market in tobacco. The mob will ove this as they are already in it.

Change your name to DrShhh

Zeurel:I'm all for sin taxes. I don't smoke or drink. I don't really care if a pack creeps up to $6 or $8 or $10 a pack. One of my best friends quit smoking cold turkey back in 07 because she was sick of how much she was spending on her two pack a day habit. She sat down and actually calculated how much money she smoked away.

She's been smoke-free for almost two years now and is quite happy with her decision. I know not everyone would make that choice, but that's what higher taxes are supposed to do. It gives some people an excuse to quit, and gouge the ones who choose not to try and quit the addiction.


Wow. And this ain't a flame, but I was kinda waiting for someone to say this (Bucs almost got there). Good points from the other side of view, but I guess I'll choose smoking. And hopefully edit this right the first time

I'm all for sin taxes. I don't smoke or drink. I don't really care if a pack creeps up to $6 or $8 or $10 a pack.

That's just horrible. 3 generations know that it is bad to smoke and they still do. We are still in the first few generations of exposure to hours of TV abuse / computer use and cell phones. In 30 years if they are considered sin and the whip comes down, will that be a good thing?

I don't really care if a pack creeps up to $6 or $8 or $10 a pack

We all have vices. Suppose they rise the price of a chocolate bar (which has been proven not to be good) from $1 to $15. Or better yet - the price of a cup of coffee to $27.50.

I'm a chain smoker and am reviled when I have to smoke in a airport "designated smoking lounge" (a crowd of hazy junkies, that smell like a garbage dump full of ashtrays), but I'd rather hang with that crowd than around a coffee station...especially one that is empty

One of my best friends quit smoking cold turkey back in 07 because she was sick of how much she was spending on her two pack a day habit. She sat down and actually calculated how much money she smoked away.

She's been smoke-free for almost two years now and is quite happy with her decision. I know not everyone would make that choice, but that's what higher taxes are supposed to do. It gives some people an excuse to quit, and gouge the ones who choose not to try and quit the addiction


Good for her, but that's a bad way to quit. Counting. That's one of the first things books tell you - think about how much you spend. Good Lord - count up the money spent doing whatever you like, it won't be pretty. She'll be back to smoking - and will be welcomed with open arms

If you want to quit - quit. If you need an excuse then it's not your time. I've never believed in addictions, and I have a laundry list of bad habits. When I want to quit one or a few of them, I'll never fool myself that it was the price that drove me away

Until then - this bill means nothing. If the tobacco lobby didn't want it to pass, it wouldn't have. They have a global market and no longer need domestic abuse. I'm about to get robbed retail 60 bucks for a carton of non-filtered Camels and will be perfect happy buying from the Internet, Chinese or a few that fell off a truck (shhhhhhhhhhhhh)

Oh - and taxes - wake me up when it goes to the Alloted. Like when the lottery would fund education. Or the War that would make gas free

FLEA

8-0nation: FLEA, start hoarding now, because the feds are going to tax like crazy on top of state taxes. And, eventually the internet being tax free is going to go like the dodo anyway.

No worries. Xenophobia. There is more than OUR internet

FLEA

(edited by RYDER FAKIN on 12.6.09 2238)


Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high

"Learn to love yourself... for it is the greatest love of all" - Jeremy Borash 11:24 AM May 13th,2009
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.81
Price of a pack is around $8 in Rhode Island due to state taxes, so $10 wouldn't be far behind. Doesn't matter to me, as I don't use it and they've virtually banned it everywhere. But, here's the dirty little secret: State governments DO NOT want people to quit smoking. When people quit smoking, that means they aren't making money on the taxes for the packs.
FLEA, start hoarding now, because the feds are going to tax like crazy on top of state taxes. And, eventually the internet being tax free is going to go like the dodo anyway.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 101 days
Last activity: 101 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.18
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    That's just horrible. 3 generations know that it is bad to smoke and they still do. We are still in the first few generations of exposure to hours of TV abuse / computer use and cell phones. In 30 years if they are considered sin and the whip comes down, will that be a good thing?


The whole point is, most people don't realize how bad it is when they start, and by the time they do, it's too late because they're addicted. Unless you really don't think the tobacco companies target minors. Things like use of the word "Light" in cigarette names is another example of how the companies convince people their products are not as deadly as they really are.

And 30 years from now, if it is revealed that cell phones and computers are as deadly as cigarettes are, there absolutely will need to be stiffer regulation. But it will only be an apt comparison if people talking on their cell phones somehow spread the health risks to other people in the same room not talking on their cell phones.

I don't think banning them is any kind of solution, primarily because I don't think the government has the authority to do that. But I also think the government doesn't have the authority to ban marijuana, and obviously I haven't been able to stop that one.

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(edited by TheBucsFan on 13.6.09 1052)
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