Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbOur country today has been beset by the endemic if not epidemic spread of health maladies — Cancer (of various types), obesity, AIDS, and smoking. The nation’s medical establishment has set out, under the leadership of the Surgeon General, to bring these health hazards under control. The National Institutes of Health research is funding on-going research on the causes and cures for cancer and AIDS. But in 1964, the Surgeon General, Luther Terry, took a bold move — he organized a group of advisors who came up with a revolutionary recommendation, a WARNING LABEL was needed on all tobacco products!

Smoking and health cover

This elicited the expected reaction from the tobacco companies who questioned the government’s right to require such a notice. They fought it, but lost. Presently, there is a move to require more graphic warnings on tobacco products, especially cigarettes. Once more, the tobacco companies are battling against this requirement. But it will go through.

But is this a deterrent to the smoking habit? Not really. Smoking is an addictive habit that is often started early in life. Of course, the tobacco companies promote that. But cigarette commercials were banned early from children’s hours of TV watching. Radio and billboards were also banned. Smoking in movies and on TV has also been discouraged. But people still smoke.

Cities and states have passed laws, such as California’s Proposition 65 approved by the people in 1986, in an attempt to stem the tide of the habit. Smoking has been banned within buildings, restaurants, bars, etc. Designated smoking areas have been established outside to be used even in inclement weather. These bans have been extended to some apartments and homes on the basis of the dangers from “second-hand” smoke. Where will this all end? Who knows. Habits are hard to break and we can only assume that limiting and punitive measures will continue to be imposed, hoping that finally a solution will be reached.

Now, we need the same zeal to be brought against AIDS and other maladies. Obesity is much harder to legislate, but even there efforts have been started to require school lunches to be “healthy”. The battle really begins there in defining what is a healthy diet? But that is a topic for another day.

Let us now turn our attention to the action of Surgeon General Luther Terry and his warning label on cigarette packages… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2973 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Cigarettes:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/cigarette.html ]

    

“Fame is being asked to sign your autograph on the back of a cigarette packet.”
— Billy Connolly

“I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine.”
— H. L. Mencken

“I met the surgeon general – he offered me a cigarette.”
— Rodney Dangerfield

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