Thursday, October 8, 2009

The New Drug

In today’s Boston Globe, an article about the new marketing of cigarettes resonated with me.

First, I had no idea that the words “light”, “mild”, and “ultralight” were going to be banned from cigarette packages by next June. Secondly, the push to save us from ourselves by allowing an uncontrolled growth of government is becoming unbearable. This latest attack on the tobacco companies is minor compared to the explosion of rules and regulations proposed under the banner “consumer protection”, but it is a decent encapsulation.

In a statement about the new colorful labeling proposed by some tobacco companies, a doctor, and the director of a tobacco research and intervention center, states that his patients feel virtuous switching to the “light” or “mild” brands that these colors will soon represent.

“These are individuals who have a chronic case of tobacco dependence and are struggling to break free of it, and that struggle is compromised by labeling that gives them a false and deadly sense of reassurance.’’

By replacing “tobacco” with “government” and “labeling” with “the largesse” this sentence has some real meaning. It seems, however, that rather than struggling to break free of our addiction to governmental largesse, we just keep searching for the next fix.

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