Mitch McConnell has proposed raising the age to purchase all tobacco products from 18 to 21. This patronizing policy will fail in execution, regardless of how many totalitarian representatives vote in favor of this bill.
While the US is complacent in genocide against Yemen, is crippling the public with taxes and regulations, and destroying our right to privacy, McConnell’s priority seems to be to further restrict liberty.
Mitch McConnell will Fail because Prohibition Always Fails
As if the opioid crisis doesn’t already prove this to be the case, prohibition (including age restrictions) does not work.
As Dr. Kyle Varner points out: “Prohibition pushes people towards the dirty heroin needle.” While tobacco does kill, it is far safer in the short run than heroin. By making it harder to get tobacco, McConnell is tacitly encouraging young people to seek other drugs.
There are always loopholes, too. While I don’t smoke, it was extremely to easy to get tobacco in high school. Whether it was a senior or other members of the community, someone would sell tobacco to make a buck. Increasing the age from 18 to 21 will not change that.
Vaping Bans: Corporate Protectionism over Public Health
In the introduction to The Long Game: A Memoir, Mitch McConnell admits that his life can be summarized as the pursuit of power. He does not care about public health. To know this for certain, consider that he also wants to raise the age to buy vaping products to 21 as well. Even though vaping products frequently have no tobacco and is used to quit smoking, McConnell is clearly asserting his own power in some way. Vaping is a relatively new industry. Smoking, however, is well established.
With this in mind, cigarette companies can afford these regulations. Vaping companies, however, will be hit much harder. The federal war on e-cigs is merely protectionism for big tobacco. While tobacco companies may take a small hit, the long-term gains is much greater when their competition, vaping products, dies of regulation. Even though vaping is two times as effective at getting people to quit smoking than nicotine patches, Mitch McConnell prioritizes his own power and corporate interests over the health of his society.
In other words, prohibition is tyrannical. It is patronizing. Mitch McConnell is trying to be my mother and tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. Perhaps instead of banning cigarettes, one could expand liberty and discourage smoking by excluding smokers from Medicare/Medicaid coverage.
This would save taxpayers millions and encourage people to stop smoking. Instead of banning smoking, we should move to end subsidies for big tobacco, whether they be direct through checks from the government or indirectly through government healthcare for smokers. Prohibition does not work, especially when the prohibited substance receives subsidies. But Mitch McConnell will never end these subsidies. If he did that, he would lose influence. Mitch McConnell puts power over people and fear over freedom.