Senators Judd Rodham Gregg (‘R’-NH) and Mike Rodham DeWine (‘R’-OH), two more Republicans who have clearly forgotten that theirs is supposed to be the party of limited government, are pushing forward a bill to give the FDA the power to regulate the tobacco industry. That’s pathetic and, as the indispensable Jacob Sullum points out over at Reason it may also be lethal. The excuse for this bureaucratic overreach? You guessed it. “The children.” Here’s what Rodham DeWine has to say:
“We are taking a step toward reducing the number of children who begin to smoke.”
And then there’s this:
“We are taking a step toward limiting the kinds of advertisements directed at our children.”
“We are taking a step toward finally giving the FDA to fix the problem of youth smoking.”
Making it illegal for youngsters to buy tobacco products is not, apparently, enough.
Amongst the other provisions in the nauseatingly named “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Bill” (inserting the word ‘family’ in the title of some dumb legislation does not, Senators, make it a good law) are “incentives to help those who want to quit” (the prospect of painful disease, lingering death or both is not, apparently, enough). It’s also claimed that the bill will ensure that consumers are “better informed” about the risks associated with tobacco use. As Sullum shows, it will do the opposite.