Good news everybody! It's still legal to suck disease straight down your throat, and it just got a whole lot sexier!
Word came down today that the smooth, rich flavor that just makes life worth living is now going to come in new, "edgier" goth doom packaging. Adorned in "labels that depict in graphic detail the negative health effects of tobacco use... the corpse of a smoker, diseased lungs, and a mother holding her baby with smoke swirling around them" and hip new catch phrases like "Smoking can kill you" and "Cigarettes cause cancer"... Hooray?
This will of course do very little to curb smoking, likely as much as, say, distributing servings of heroin (that's how they're doled out, right? Serving sizes with nutritional information on the side? I haven't caught up on my DVRed episodes of "The Oxycontin Express", please, no spoilers) in mylar party balloons with the words "Don't" scribbled on the side in the blood of your own children. See, we as Americans often do stupid shit, that's kind of our thing. Not that smoking is strictly an American past time, 'cause it ain't, but we know how to put our own particular child lock brand of insulting stupidity on it. It's the American way.
There's nothing in this latest move by the FDA about banning the sale of cigarettes or tobacco products. Nothing to remove from the shelves a product that is responsible for approximately 443,000 deaths a year. Their solution is simply to make the packs hard to look at and hope to scare smokers straight. By making half the pack look like a snuff film, telling them that "Eating poison will surely assassinate you" and giving them the 1-800 number to a stop smoking hot line, the FDA has done its job and made the world safe again. Smokers today are allowed to smoke legally only in a two foot square cabinet under their bathroom sink which upon moving must be shipped to a special cigarette nook disposal facility in North Dakota where it is then buried three miles deep under a thick protective layer of E.T. Atari 2600 game cartridges until Jesus can safely exorcise all of the inky black cancer vapors or the sun expands to the point of devouring the solar system and all life as we know it... Which ever comes first. Making the packs scary ain't gonna stop smokers from smoking their smoke making smokes.
Debating whether or not cigarettes should be made illegal is pointless. They never will be. They'll be $60 a pack and sold wrapped in photographs of the grandchildren that cancer will prevent you from ever meeting before they're made illegal. Should they be? Well, the way I see it, the key to whether something should be illegal or not should be whether or not that something's sale would be approved if it were presented as a brand new product today.
I personally have a product that has been proven to, if used properly, fucking murder you. When can I start selling this thing to children while telling anyone trying to arrest me that I am in no way trying to sell them to children? My new product is called "Chainsaw to the Face". And just as the name suggests, it is the rich, refreshing taste of chainsaw, delivered conveniently and comfortably, directly to the god damned face. Chainsaws are legal, faces are most certainly still legal, despite all of big anti-face's efforts to make them otherwise. Why couldn't I sell boxes of "Chainsaw to the Face" in every gas station and drug store across God's own free land. Go ahead FDA, slather it in warning labels if it'll make you feel like you're doing your job. Dip our boxes in pictures of the results of the use of our product: old people with their faces chainsawed off. "Chainsaw to the Face" is just too addictive, that's why we secretly try to hook our customers when they're young, to get the most possible "Chainsaw to the Face" years out of them before, inevitably, they are killed by the proper, clinical, only possible use of "Chainsaw to the Face": a chainsaw to the face...
The only thing the FDA can think to do, or will be allowed to do, to a product that kills 1 in every 693 people in this country is to make half of the pack look like what will happen if you use what's inside as directed. Nobody at this point in human history doesn't know that cigarettes are bad for you. The last person born before packs of cigarette had to legally start telling people that they wanted to murder you for buying them, turned 56 this year. Seeing exactly how cigarettes plan on doing it every time you pick up your pack isn't going to make many people suddenly realize that their sucking a dozen kinds of poison into their face might not be the best thing for them... They could start packaging cigarettes in people recently murdered by cigarettes and it would have little effect on their purchase power.
By the estimates of this article and of new studies 20% of Americans smoke: about 46 million Smokey-Americans. By implementing this new horrific labeling, the FDA, BY THEIR OWN ESTIMATES, believe they will reduce the number of smokers by 213,000 in 2013 "with smaller additional reductions through 2031". So their big victory against tobacco is that by making half of the pack look like a cereal killer's frigidaire, they are going to reduce the number of smokers in the United States by... wait for it... 0.46%! Twice as many people will still die in 2013 from smoking, as their new horror porn warning labels will save over the next 18 years...
The tobacco companies are laughing their tar covered balls off at you FDA.
Cigarettes got in on the ground floor of murdering Americans with their products. tobacco products have been killing Americans as long as there've been Americans. And if one of our nation's original biggest exports had been cocaine of heroin or Chainsaws to the Face, then they would be just as inexorably entrenched in American commerce as the tobacco industry.
So good for you tobacco, you made yourself too important to have to give a shit that you're murdering your customers and too big to be stopped. Good for you.