Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Two Great Ideas to Quit Smoking

There was an excellent Op-Ed piece in Monday's paper about the efforts to curb the 400,000 American deaths per year blamed on cigarette smoking. Two ideas are being pushed up against the strong pro-tobacco lobby. Let's hope they come to fruition:

1) FDA enforces non-addictive levels of nicotine in cigarettes.
Apparently, the Food and Drug Administration has been given the power to regulate the amount of nicotine allowed in a cigarette as long as they don't regulate it to zero. They do have the right to force tobacco companies to bring it down to a level that is non-addictive. This should cause current smokers to switch to other 'healthier' sources for their daily fix. More importantly it will prevent the next generation from becoming addicted. Which brings us to the second strategy, this one enforced at the local level.

2) Communities refuse to sell tobacco to anyone born in the year 2000 or later.
These kids are just turning 13, (my twins are an example) so what parent could argue against this? Of course, when they turn 18 and can vote, they may have something to say about it. But the idea has merit. We don't care what age they are, if they were born after 1999, they don't get to buy, sell or even possess tobacco. Tasmania, a state in Australia is considering the law.

Maybe Jeff McGinley can rewrite Prince's 1999 along these lines
     They say two thousand zero zero smoking's over oops outta time
      So tonight I'm gonna toke it like it's 1999


  1. Hey, you've got a great hook, run with it!

    Although Prince never approves parodies, which may be why Weird Al claimed if you play "Purple Rain" backwards it says, "The devil won't let me grow a real mustache."

    On topic, I think #2 might gain more and more support as time passes. My daughter's biggest "Why are they doing that?" moments in old films are not connected to violence, crimes or crazy behavior, they're when she sees people smoking.

    1. I can usually come up with a parody on a couple of lines. I need your genius to parody the entire song. I've always admired that about you.

      My oldest son is in college and wonders why other 19 year-olds smoke as much as they do. It'd be great if my younger boys, born in 2000, never have to wonder about that. We need the states and cities to enact regulations. I'm surprised Bloomberg hasn't jumped on it.

    2. High praise for counting syllables and a high tolerance for bad rhymes, but thanx!

      I guess college still produces enough stress to still lead to group smoking. Still, I notice more and more kids being reviled by the idea, even in old movies where it looks "cool."