Skip to comments.Sen. Mike Enzi introduces bill to wipe out tobacco in America in a generation
Posted on 07/23/2007 2:27:03 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo, Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today introduced legislation to wipe out tobacco use in America through an innovative cap-and-trade program that will shrink the size of the tobacco market over the next 20 years.
Tobacco kills. We need new ideas to get people to stop smoking, or better yet, never to start, Enzi said. Thats what my legislation does. My bill contains a novel cap-and-trade program that will guarantee that fewer people suffer the deadly consequences of smoking, while providing flexibility in how those reductions are achieved.
Cap-and-trade programs have a proven track record in the environmental arena, particularly in addressing acid rain. My tobacco plan is based on the successful program in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. This system achieved the desired results faster and at lower cost than had been anticipated. The same can be done for tobacco, Enzi said.
The cap-and-trade program will reduce the adverse health effects of tobacco use through reductions in the size of the US tobacco market to fewer than 2 percent of the population over 20 years. Tobacco manufacturers would be required to meet specific user level limits by specified deadlines and the plan would set up a market share allocation and transfer system in which allowances could be used, banked, traded, or sold freely on the open market.
The Enzi proposal, the Help End Addiction to Lethal Tobacco Habits Act (HEALTH Act), would also close loopholes in the law that tobacco companies have exploited and enjoyed for far too long. It would use proven approaches to help people stop using tobacco products and implement tried and true prevention programs.
Some have suggested that FDA regulation of tobacco is the way toward safer tobacco products. But we know that there is no such thing as a safe cigarette, Enzi said. Proposals to have FDA regulate tobacco are a misguided attempt to force a deadly product into the regulatory structure developed for drugs and devices products which DO have health benefits. The Democrats deadly scheme for tobacco would be very costly, and would not result in much of a health benefit. We can do better.
The Help End Addiction to Lethal Tobacco Habits Act (HEALTH Act)
Title I: Raising the bar on our knowledge
· Removes an outdated provision that allows manufacturers to shield from the government which ingredients are in which tobacco products.
· Modernizes and standardizes testing methods for measuring and reporting nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
· Strengthens warning labels on packages changes to bold warnings with color graphics a strategy that has been proven to work in the EU and Canada .
Title II: Determining who uses tobacco
· Consolidates multiple overlapping surveys on tobacco use to gather the necessary data to monitor the baseline and reductions under Title III.
Title III: Reducing the number of tobacco users
· Creates a cap-and-trade program to reduce the adverse health effects of tobacco use through reductions in annual size of the US tobacco market from 2006 levels.
· Requires compliance by tobacco manufacturers with specific user level limitations by specified deadlines.
· Sets up a market share allocation and transfer system. Allowances can be used, banked, traded, or sold freely on the open market.
· The number of allowances decreases each year, ultimately resulting in fewer than 2% of the population using tobacco, versus nearly 21% today a 90% reduction.
Title IV: Increasing the tobacco excise tax
· Increases the tobacco excise tax based on the relative risk of products (see Title V for information on risk classification).
· Distributes the revenue as follows: 50% to Medicare, 25% to Medicaid, and 25% to tobacco control and prevention. This maintains the tight link between tobacco tax policy and tobacco health policy.
Title V: Encouraging tobacco control and prevention, and smoking cessation
· Establishes an FDA panel to classify tobacco products or groups of products by risk.
· Gives FDA explicit authority to ban nicotine.
· Creates a program of counter-advertising, conducted by HHS, and funded from the 25% for control and prevention in Title IV.
· Closes a loophole in Medicare and Medicaid to provide coverage for smoking cessation, regardless of whether the beneficiary has a diagnosed smoking-related illness.
· Enhances the Federal match under Medicaid for states that meet the CDC recommended levels of MSA funds spent on tobacco control and prevention.
What is cap-and-trade?
Cap and trade is an administrative approach used to control something, historically a pollutant, by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of that pollutant. Cap-and-trade programs have a proven track record in the environmental arena, the most dramatic success story being the control of acid rain in the 1990s. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 instituted a system of allowances for emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides that could be used, banked, traded or sold freely on the open market. The number of allowances decreased each year. This system achieved the desired air quality improvements faster and at lower cost than had been anticipated.
In cap and trade programs, the government sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. The cap provides the standard by which progress is measured, and it creates an artificial scarcity. Companies or other groups that emit the pollutant are given allowances to emit a specific amount. The total amount of allowances is fixed and cannot exceed the cap, limiting total national emissions. The allowances then have value, due to the artificial scarcity created. The cap is lowered over time - aiming towards a national emissions reduction target.
Companies must hold a sufficient number of allowances to cover their emissions, or face heavy penalties. A source that reduces its emissions below its allowance level may sell the extra allowances to another source. A source that finds it more expensive to reduce emissions below allowable levels may buy (trade) allowances from another source. Buyers and sellers may bank any unused allowances for future use. This system reduces emissions at the lowest possible cost to society.
In some cap and trade systems, organizations which do not pollute may also buy allowances. For example, environmental groups could purchase and retire allowances to reduce emissions and raise the price of the remaining credits the laws of supply and demand in action.
Cap and trade systems leverage the power of markets to deal with pollution. While the cap is set by a political process, individual companies are free to choose how, when or if they will reduce their emissions. Firms will choose the least-costly way to comply, creating incentives to reduce the cost of achieving a pollution reduction goal. Cap and trade systems are easier to enforce than traditional command and control bureaucratic approaches because the government overseeing the market does not need to regulate specific practices of each source.
Cap-and-trade systems guarantee reductions, and companies are given time and flexibility to meet the targets. Sources have flexibility to decide when, where and how to reduce emissions. Making the power of the market work to achieve our policy goals just makes sense.
From his "No Cure for Cancer" cd. Lyrics provided from http://endor.org/leary/
"There's a guy- I don't know if you've heard about this guy, he's been on the news a lot lately. There's a guy- he's English, I don't think we should hold that against him, but apparently this is just his life's dream because he is going from country to country. He has a senate hearing in this country coming up in a couple of weeks. And this is what he wants to do. He wants to make the warnings on the packs bigger. Yeah! He wants the whole front of the pack to be the warning. Like the problem is we just haven't noticed yet. Right? Like he's going to get his way and all of the sudden smokers around the world are going to be going, "Yeah, Bill, I've got some cigarettes.. HOLY S**T! These things are bad for you! S**t, I thought they were good for you! I thought they had Vitamin C in them and stuff!" You f***ing dolt! Doesn't matter how big the warnings are. You could have cigarettes that were called warnings. You could have cigarrettes that come in a black pack, with a skull and a cross bone on the front, called tumors and smokers would be lined up around the block going, "I can't wait to get my hands on these f***ing things! I bet you get a tumor as soon as you light up! Numm Numm Numm Numm Numm" Doesn't matter how big the warnings are or how much they cost. Keep raising the prices, we'll break into your houses to get the f***ing cigarettes, ok!? They're a drug, we're addicted, ok!? Numm Numm Numm Numm Numm *wheeze*"
"I love to smoke. I smoke seven thousand packs a day, ok. And I am never f***ing quitting! I don't care how many laws they make. What's the law now? You can only smoke in your apartment, under a blanket, with all the lights out? Is that the rule now, huh?! The cops are outside, "We know you have the cigarettes. Come out of the house with the cigarettes above your head." "You'll never get me copper! I'm never coming out, you hear? I got a cigarette machine right here in my bedroom. Yeah!"
I don't know. Personally, I think Billy Martin said it best when he said, "Hey! I can drive!" Because we tried to be nice to you non-smokers. We f***ing tried. Okay? You wanted your own sections in the restaurants. We gave you that, huh. But that wasn't enough for you. Then you wanted the airplanes. We gave you the whole G** d**n plane! You happy now? You own the f***ing plane! I'd like an explanation about that one folks because I will guarantee you if the plane is going down, the first announcement you're gonna hear is, "Folks, this is your Captain speaking. Look, uhm, light 'em up, 'cause we're going down, okay. I got a carton of Camels non-filters, I'll see you on the ground. Take it easy."
The filters the best part. That's where they put the heroine. Only us real good smokers know that f***ing secret. Yeah, we tried to be nice to you non-smokers. We tried. But you just f***ing badger us, you know? You won't leave us alone! You got all your little speeches you're always giving to us. All these little facts that you dig out of a newspaper or pamphlet and you store that little nugget in your little f***ing head, and we light up and you spew 'em out at us, don't ya? I love these little facts. "Well you know. Smoking takes ten years off your life." Well it's the ten worst years, isn't it folks? It's the ones at the end! It's the wheelchair kidney dialysis f***ing years. You can have those years! We don't want 'em, alright!? And I guarantee if I'm still alive, I'll be smoking then. Because you're always telling us, "You know, ever cigarette takes six minutes off your life. If you quit now you can live an extra ten years. If you quit now, you can live an extra twenty years." Hey, I got two words for you, ok. Jim Fix. Remember Jim Fix? The big famous jogging guy? Jogged fifteen miles a day. Did a jogging book. Did a jogging video. Dropped out of a heart attack when? When he was f***ing jogging, that's when! What do you wanna bet it was two smokers who found the body the next morning and went, "Hey! That's Jim Fix, isn't it?" "Wow, what a f***ing tragedy. Come on, lets go buy some butts."
It's always the yogurt sprout eating mother f***ers who get run over buy a bus driven by a guy who smokes three and a half packs a day. "Sorry officer, I didn't see him. I was too busy smoking!"
I know your comment wasn't directed toward me, but I couldn't resist commenting that a town near me was named for her movement: Temperanceville.
That, Blackbird, is why I made the comment about them not knowing what they are talking about with giving FDA the authority to ban nicotine.
We are looking at FDA banning all sorts of fruits and beggies, or a total move toward GM fruits and veggies where the nicotine has been GM'ed out.
Yeah,it`s a little more than throwing a seed in the
ground.Granddaddy said to me it`s an 10 month crop.
When it`s hung up in the barn if everything goes right,
the people didn`t hang them to close (that makes `em sweat)
It`s about 50 days till its dried enough to take down
and start stripping (the leaves) into the different
grades.There are 3 distinctive grades,
You make a very good point.
The store card idea (and don't think they aren't looking at it) won't work in many areas where people grow their own, or buy from others who do the growing.
Is that next? If we don't stop this kind of nonsense now, while we can, the answer to that question is a resounding YES.
Thanks - that’s a new one on me :)
“Creates a cap-and-trade program ...”
Within 20 years this will become a $10 trillion ponzi scheme with 200 million Americans sucking cash from it. It will become as sacred as social security and another third rail of politics. And smoking will increase to half the population, including kindergartners.
Read the tobacco threads Brujo, the govt. doesn't dare make it illegal because they are reaping billions of dollars off its use simply by continuing to demonize the evil smokers.
The more evil we become, the easier it is to continue to tax the hell out of us. The non-smoking public could are less. Ask any non-smoker you know how much the state and federal taxes are now on a pack of cigarettes and I will wager they have no idea nor do they care.........
The thin cover was unveiled here in Michigan a couple years ago when our perky Gov. Granholm announced a $.75 (somewhere around that amount) on cigarettes. Since they had already worn out the old "its to fund the healtcare system due to the burden of smokers", at least she had the F'n guts to admit that it was to fund the already overdrawn budget here in Michigan.........Since increasing property taxes or gas taxes or whatever taxes would further inflame the citizens here in Michigan, she chose to go after the smokers because as I mentioned previously, nobody gives a damn about the evil smokers.......Nationally, smokers are the most convenient target available............
If its all about saving the public from itself, tell me Brujo, why hasn't the govt singled out the alcohol users instead?
This is odd. I would have expected this from Barrasso, but from Enzi???
I don’t know exactly why it is, but 80% of comics smoke.
Smoking might take x years off my life...but they are the last x years. I’m sure I won’t miss drooling on myself in a nursing home.
By and large, the ones that actually get it done are "R's".
Excuse me, but..BWAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAA!
New World Order ping.
I guess I phrased that wrong, didn't I?
Excuse me Sargeant Dave...
Sir, it's already a ponzi scheme, sir!
Sir, if we don't smoke em while we got em, the chilrun won't get healthcare, sir!
GOOD! Now, watch as all the anti-smoking groups line up opposing it, as they did in North Dakota in 2003.
Ban tobacco and they lose major funding.
The Senators have nothing to do.
Exactly. Do you notice how the 5 FR anti’s are notoriously silent here?
Much like the Socialists, anti tobacco pros and cockroaches, they crawl back into the dark when they are threatened (and by threatened I mean taking the keys to their Mercedes Benz E320 away when the bank repo’s it).
The silence is defeaning. Enzi’s bill has about as much chance of passing as Algore does of getting the GOP presidential nomination. The left and the health groups wont stand for it.
I’m not illitimerate....
That should read Deafening.
Thanks for the ping!
Do you think we should ping them? YUK-YUK-YUK!!!!!!
Our drug laws have been pretty effective, haven't they? Those were phased in over decades....
And this is a Republican pushing this? No wonder they’re losing elections.
Thanks for the info! Don’t you have to rotate crops every so often? I heard that it really leaches the nutrients out of the ground.
Just the one in my skull.
I actually do have one of the hatchets, plus one of her books, and some photos.
You’ve got the basic story right. It is also alleged she was baptised by the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues while in a trance.
I’m not sure its fair to compare her to Sheehan, since Sheehan barely cared for that boy of hers, and only had an opinion it seems once he was dead.
She got whacked around by her husband at the time, and decided she’d had it. Better to compare it to a ‘Thelma and Louise’ thing without the undertones of homosexuality or suicide.
Still, she had a legitimate beef at the time. It’ll interest you to know that her grandnewphew was a stone alcoholic, as was his father. He served in the Navy in the Pacific theater in what was the Underwater Demolition Team, but before there was one. He’d swim under ships, attach bombs, and then swim away as fast as he could.
His ship was attacked by a kamikaze, and he jumped three decks to avoid being killed by it. He was a teatotaler going into to the war, and an alcoholic coming out of it. Never talked about the war. What I did learn I got from one of his medals, the citation accompanying it.
Still the irony of him being an alcoholic.
Funny, how they are trying to elminate smoking, but drinking, well, that’s been tried.
I drink myself, but I’m not sure that was the point of her life, to be against drinking.
Americas two party system in 2007: International Socialists and National Socialists.
We return you now to your regularly scheduled smoking thread...
They've just taken another approach with Tobacco...make a big damn profit with an illegal tax because our jails can't hold 30% of the adult population.
Yes, I believe the tax and restrictions are totally illegal. You can't say something is very, very bad and put a 500% tax on it. That says it is very, very bad but if you can afford it, it's okay.
Yep. A new generation of Kennedy’s ready to make a fortune on the black market.
AFAICT, Barrasso is more conservative than Thomas or Enzi. But still...
Well, as badly as prohibition worked with alcohol, it did achieve some of its aims. Alcohol consumption was significantly lower afterward, even after prohibition was lifted. Maybe that's Enzi's thinking with tobacco as well.
I must admit that I have mixed feelings on the subject. If smoking were clearly a decision which affected only the smoker, and if that decision weren't interwoven with the addictive power of nicotine, I would be inclined to say "leave it alone."
But those conditions do not exist. The smoker's decision frequently does affect others. And his decision is heavily influenced by nicotine. It's not a simple matter of "individual choice over individual matters", as I had written before...
I'm going back and forth on it. :-/
Isn't that special. Thanks for the information BUMP!
They would think that the Tree of Liberty was parched and famished.
Ask yourself this; did the Founders think that the principles of individual liberty and freedom and tightly restricted powers of government should be subject to exceptions on such a premise as you've laid out? Can you find any quotes of theirs that give such caveats?
This plan of Enzi's is nothing less than social engineering, ie government forced behavior modification. I am at a loss to fit that into any system of government other than totalitarian, socialist, fascist and Marxist communist models. Certainly not into a representative constitutional republican model.
As less people smoke, which is the trend, less taxes are collected. At some point there will be a tipping point where the tax revenues drop below the threshold where it can be made illegal.
Nanny state Republicans, why don’t they mind their own business? We got democrats to worry about this stuff.
But implicitly, yes! They clearly intended that an individual not have free rein to diminish the same inalienable rights of others. Congress was granted power to make laws to that end.
Does a smoker deprive his non-smoking wife and children of their rights to some degree? I think he possibly does. As I said, I'm still unsettled on the issue.
It's not a clear-cut case, as trespassing on private property or defending your life against an attacker would be. Both the effects of and the decision of smoking are tainted with other factors.
This plan of Enzi's is nothing less than social engineering, ie government forced behavior modification.
Yes, but that isn't inherently wrong, nor is it inherently prohibited by the Constitution. All laws are "forced behavior modification". The question is, does society have a sufficiently strong interest in that behavior to override the individual's rights?
Remember, the Founding Fathers even granted the government the power to take the life of its citizens, after due process of law. They never intended that individual liberty be absolute.
An individual is not allowed, and would not be by the Founding Fathers, to choose to murder his competitors in business. That behavior is denied. He is not permitted by our law, and rightfully so, to prosper by fraud or extortion. Each of those is a "forced behavior modification" to that individual who might want to engage in them, isn't it?
In those cases, as with others, the interests of the People outweigh the individual's liberty. I submit that smoking might meet that same criteria.
If there were some way to ensure that smokers could only put their own health at risk, with no possible way to harm another to any degree, then there would be no question. It would be a clear case of individual liberty.
I am at a loss to fit that into any system of government other than totalitarian, socialist, fascist and Marxist communist models. Certainly not into a representative constitutional republican model.
Come now, you're being disingenuous. We "behavior modify" plenty of unwanted traits, as did the Founding Fathers.
Enzi, as well as other anti-smoking politicians, was elected. You can't pretend it's some Marxist dictatorship just because you disagree with the representation.
The most you can do--and it's perfectly consistent with the ideals of a Constitutional Republic--is to persuade other voters to join you and remove him from office. Until he leads an armed coup and takes over Washington, I think I'll hold off on the comparisons with fascist tyrants.
*sigh* But I can't make up my mind to agree with him either.
One thing, though, is that this should not be a federal issue. The States have Constitutional authority to address this issue.
You've got that right!
"Communism! It's not just for Democrats anymore."
Still, A. Lincoln could have said “good riddance” but he wanted southern tariffs too much. The South paid 2/3 of the tariffs even though it was only 1/3 of the population.
Boo freakin’ hoo. Save it for the CW threads.