Thursday, March 7, 2013

ObamaCare Aims at Penalizing Smokers


         Growing up, we are all taught that smoking is one of the most detrimental things for our health.  As some people mature, they begin smoking simply because they like the feeling, or they think it is the “cool” thing to do.  As smokers continue to smoke at a young age, they begin to build an addiction to this cancer stick all at the same time they know that it can lead to health issues, and even death depending on your frequency and longevity of use, as well as their genes.  According to Michio Kaku’s book “Physics of the Future”, he indicated that one gene mutates every 10 cigarettes you smoke.  Subsequently, it may take thousands of cigarettes in one’s lifetime to cause enough genetic mutations to cause cigarette - related cancer.  This does not include second hand smoke, which according to experts is even worse for a human than actually smoking a cigarette.  So, what is going on with ObamaCare and cigarettes?  According to a variety of sources, ObamaCare is trying to get people to quit smoking by fining or penalizing smokers over the age 55 at least $4000 a year if they are known to be a smoker.  

The topic of charging individuals who smoke a penalty for their addiction has both its negatives and positives.  Let’s begin by discussing the negatives of the idea of penalizing individuals who smoke.  First of all, if you are to implement such a statute, one must simply make cigarettes illegal altogether, or create even higher taxes on companies who make, distribute, and sell tobacco.  Secondly, we are all given the right to freedom of choice, and the government should not try to get into our private affairs, and tell us what we can and cannot do especially after tobacco has been legal and widely used for a long-period of time.  If the government is going to keep cigarettes legal and penalize users, don’t you think they should penalize those who are in the supply chain from business-to-consumer.  Does the penalty apply to the government because new laws such as this have a recurring theme which is that the government is exempt from things that the citizens are not which is against the U.S. Constitution.

Although there are a variety of negative affects to this bill, there are some positives to the bill.  First of all, if you create a penalty on cigarettes, it may entice smokers to quit their deadly habit.  It will provide our nation with cleaner air to breathe which will decrease the amount of second hand smoke although the Earth rotates which cause air to flow with it, we may still get smoke from other parts of the world.   In addition, if people stop smoking, the cardiovascular and respiratory health of this nation would improve as a result, leading to less health issues which will in turn make our country in less debt for our self-inflicted health problems and healthcare costs. 

In the end, if this penalty is to go into law, the American citizens should not be the only one’s affected by the stipulations.  Eventually, cigarettes should become illegal, and the multi-billion dollar business that makes cancer in a white stick should be eliminated from the U.S, but this is the U.S. government we’re talking about here so the people are probably the only individuals who will be affected.  Never BIG BUSINESS.

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