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Public health officials debate a “smoker’s license’

November 15, 2012

I don’t intend to spend much time on this story, but some public health and anti-tobacco advocates are now proposing and debating a “smoker’s license.”

 A public health proposal suggests that tobacco smokers should be required to apply and pay for a “smoker’s license” in order to continue buying cigarettes.

In this week’s PLOS Medicine medical journal, two leading tobacco control advocates debate the merits of the smoker’s license. Simon Chapman, a professor at the University of Sydney, proposes that users would have to apply and pay for a mandatory license in the form of a smartcard that would be shown when buying cigarettes.

In a controversial move, the smartcard would allow the government to limit how many cigarettes a smoker could buy. Professor Chapman suggests 50 per day averaged over two weeks to accommodate heavy smokers.

  Cigarette rationing sounds more like something I would expect out of a communist country, not the United States, but such could be life under Obamacare. 

  You may think that this is a farfetched idea and is something that could never happen in the United States, but I never thought the government would be allowed to force Americans into commerce in the first place, which is what the healthcare mandate does, so what is to stop the government from rationing cigarettes once they have total control of the healthcare industry and begin looking at ways to bring down healthcare costs through government intrusion?

  Oh, and by the way, who will this hurt the most? Lower income people–a group which has a higher percentage of smokers than other groups–of course.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2012 10:30 pm

    Big Brothers can be so mean!


    • November 15, 2012 10:42 pm

      yep, and they like to push you around!


  2. lou222 permalink
    November 15, 2012 10:59 pm

    I don’t smoke, but I do love to smell a Cherry-vanilla pipe tobacco! My problem with this, is “Where does it end?” When is enough, enough, when it comes to the government making the demands on us? Do they feel like they know what is best for us? Are we children that have to be TOLD what we should do? They make me sick. But, hey, we put them there, guess we better think of that come 2014.


    • November 16, 2012 6:50 am

      Can’t beat the smell of pipe tobacco!
      The truth is it doesn’t end now that Obamacare is the law of the land. This is just the beginning; once they have control over healthcare they will begin to implement mandatory healthy eating, exercizing, and banishing of unhealthy activities. Of course, all of these are good ideas if left up to the individual, but as mandates from the government?


  3. November 15, 2012 11:12 pm

    A smoking license would only be the beginning! How about a license to own pets! a license to own a gun! A license to eat out! And a license just to live. Hell, we have given the government a license to steal and they intend to take full advantage of it. I suppose soon we’ll have to have a federal license to hunt and fish in addition to our state license. How about a license to die, that must be paid in advance! On maybe it will just be a tax on coffins by the feds. When one stops to think about it there are thousands of things that they can tax or require a license for. Taxes and licenses are one in the same. Heck, we all need to start building an Ark—-the flood is coming!


    • November 16, 2012 6:51 am

      You are right Ron, this is only the beginning. This is as good as it gets, it is all downhill from here!


  4. LD Jackson permalink
    November 16, 2012 6:55 am

    I don’t smoke and believe it can be harmful to your health. However, it is not the business of the government to get involved in something like this. It falls under the realm of personal responsibility and should be left to the individual.

    As several commenters have already asked, where will it end?


    • November 16, 2012 7:07 am

      Exactly Larry, at some point people have to be allowed to make decisions and to take responsibility for those decisions.


  5. November 16, 2012 8:02 am

    I sure am glad I quit smoking over 10 years ago, I have saved a lot of money, my lungs are now clean and clear and I don’t give a damn what they do about smokes, taxes on smokes, a license or any other BS…

    Ex-smokers are the most intense NO SMOKING people there are so I hear, I wish I had felt this way about smokes when I started, might have saved me from having 2 heart attacks and 2 heart surgeries…

    If you want to smoke, by all means, do so, but do it away from ME, it’s your health and your lungs that need to be endangered, not mine..


  6. November 16, 2012 9:11 am

    Personally I do not believe it is the role of the federal government to enforce smoking laws. I believe it is a violation of property rights to tell business owners of bars for example, that their predominately smoking customers cannot do so on the business owners property. If left to the business owners discretion, each business could pick and choose whether or not to allow smoking, and customers could choose for themselves whether or not to patronize places that allow smoking. This is as it should be, imo.

    This proposal is a gross violation of privacy, and by attempting to target smokers and limit their consumption and activities for a perfectly legal exercise is appalling. These are the same people that want to do away with the right to bear arms, and not just limit the number of ammo, but take it away entirely. These are the same people that scream it’s my body on the way to the abortion clinic, but try to tell smokers their body is not their own. Also, I find it very telling that some would advocate for a license to smoke, but wage all out war against a valid ID for voting. The hypocrisy here is brazen and outrageous.


    • November 16, 2012 9:10 pm

      Well said and I agree!


  7. bunkerville permalink
    November 16, 2012 8:48 pm

    Sooner or later, they come for us. Too bad so many don’t get how this works.


    • November 16, 2012 9:12 pm

      That’s right, too many people don’t seem to grasp the fact that this in only the beginning. People might agree with this because it doesn’t affect them but sooner or later the government will move to an issue which does and at that point it will be too late and these people will wonder why the government is picking on them.


  8. Earle Andrews permalink
    November 16, 2012 9:57 pm



    • November 16, 2012 10:06 pm

      These people are just a little too smart for their own good!


  9. May 19, 2013 10:39 am

    I think tobacco should become a licenced drug only available on prescription, politicians on Iceland are set to debate this issue and are seriously considering the move as an effort to achieve a smoke free society. More info is on

    where other ideas are also proposed including banning tobacco completely for those born after the year 2000.


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