Ron Paul Classic: No Federal Regulations of Tobacco

The $1.4 trillion spending deal that Congress passed and the president signed just before Christmas contained a provision banning tobacco sales (including e-cigarettes) to anyone under 21. So, an 18-year-old can join the military, fight, kill, and die but cannot enjoy a cigarette or cigar?

The provision is blatantly unconstitutional as it infringes on individual rights and the state’s regulatory authority and will no doubt lead to black markets in tobacco which will be used to justify new crackdowns on civil liberties.

In 2009, Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul detailed the dangers to liberty from tobacco regulation in response to legislation giving the FDA new powers to regulate tobacco. You can read the column here:


Moving Toward Tobacco Prohibition
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Last week, another bill was passed and signed into law that takes more of our freedoms and violates the Constitution of the United States. It was, of course, done for the sake of the children, and in the name of the health of the citizenry. It’s always the case that when your liberty is seized, it is seized for your own good. Such is the condescension of Washington.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act will give sweeping new powers over tobacco to the FDA. It will require everyone engaged in manufacturing, preparing, compounding, or processing tobacco to register with the FDA and be subjected to FDA inspections, which is yet another violation of the Fourth Amendment. It violates the First Amendment by allowing the FDA to restrict tobacco advertising in multiple ways, as well as an outright ban on advertising any cigarettes as light, mild or low-tar. The FDA will have the power of pre-market reviews of all new tobacco products, and will impose new user fees, meaning taxes, on manufacturers and importers of tobacco products. It will even regulate the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.

My objections to the bill are not an endorsement of tobacco. As a physician I understand the adverse health effects of this bad habit. And that is exactly how smoking should be treated — as

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