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.
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People Sheeple of the United States Nanny State, in Order to form a more perfect Union Socialist Utopia, establish Justice Socially engineer a country of non smoking, physically fit, tea totallers, insure domestic Tranquility Smoking bans in bars, limits on unhealthy food and social drinking, provide for the common defense Universal Healthcare, promote the general Welfare health of the population whether they like it or not, in order to save above mentioned Universal Healthcare entitlement program from bankruptcy, and secure the Blessings of Liberty Dependency to ourselves progressive liberals and our Posterity Hitler Youth who we brainwash through public school education, do ordain decree and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Nanny State of Liberals
It would make about as much sense.
It will never happen because of all the money the government collects in taxes on tobacco.
Billions to be made in the Black Market
What a maroon!! And you non-smokers better get up in arms about this crap...when there is no more tobacco tax money coming in then they’ll come after some other non-favorable activity for their blood money — quite possibly YOURS.
Get the government out of the health business — in all ways and always!!!!! SSZ
So what will we tax to provide health care for the children? I know - sex. That way there will be more money and if we wipe it out we won’t have to worry about health care for children, well maybe the ones from a long glass tube in 2525.
Uh, it’s still a bad idea. The federal government has no business regulating personal behavior.
Hmmm, what about the people who like tobacco, and WANT to purchase it from people who grow tobacco and WANT to sell it.
What would the Founders think?
This is a joke, right?
Some crazed, unemployed carbon trader/Milken acolyte think this up?
My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that once the grant junkies see that the FDA would have the power to BAN NICOTINE from cigarettes, they will have thoughts of the their gravy train derailing off the tracks.
A nightmare for them.
>>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.<<
Hmm if they do this right they can create a completely new illicit underground, untaxed substance industry.
Hey, that's why we have SWAT teams and no-knock raids.
Foolish me. I thought there were real Republicans in Wyoming.
The trick with carbon trading type scams is to figure out who is going to get the “credits” to trade to companies for cash for permits to make tobacco products.
Cap and trade are so primed for corruption, you got to wonder what Enzi’s thinking. Naturally, he didn’t write this stuff, some lobbyist put it in his or aide’s hands.
What the Hell do you think this is? A free country? We are wards of the state.
Remember when you were a kid and your parents would break out the old "my house...my rules" decree? Well, if the Gubmint is paying for our healthcare, than it's "their money...their rules". They are entitled to intervene and reduce their costs.
And please, I don't want to hear any common sense from anyone who seeks to remind us that the Gubmint has no money, it is OUR MONEY. Trivial facts. Posession is 9/10th of the law....AND THEY ARE POSESSED.
>>Hmm if they do this right they can create a completely new illicit underground, untaxed substance industry.
Silly me - I wasn’t thinking about all those jack boot positions we could create busting the grannies who are looking for a nicotine hit.
America was built on tobacco.
WHAT?!?! How did I miss it? The War On Terror is over? Did we win? The borders are secure now? I missed that one. Social Security has been reformed and funded? Holy schmoley! Our prisons are nearly empty? Have I been in a coma?
It must be happy days when smoking becomes a federal crime!
So for the live your own life mentality that once made Wyoming a proud state. It must be in the water in D.C. He didn’t become the great white father just by going to the Senate. If this keeps up he won’t be welcome at home.
I was hoping we could use the smokers like the Allies used the Russians in WWII.
I was thinking after they slaughter you like pigs, they would be nice and softened up for the tax protester types to march to an easy victory.
>>It must be in the water in D.C. He didnt become the great white father just by going to the Senate. If this keeps up he wont be welcome at home.<<
It must be terrible up there - look how poor Marion Berry got turned into a crack head and how all those good Kennedy boys go bad once they get to Washington...
I would say a lot of nicotine deprived persons are going to go after these guys.
All this political prancing about tobacco and smoking is nonsense. If smoking/tobacco is so bad, why not make it illegal and end it today? Tomorrow we’ll make “fat” illegal and the next day “sitting too long”?
It would end American tobacco but Chinese and South American tobacco would take up the slack. The cost would probably go up 2 cents a pack.
Good grief, does the gubmint have to get involved in everything?
How about this - if people want to stay healthy, or just don’t like tobacco use for whatever reason (like me, religious reasons), how about they just NOT USE TOBACCO PRODUCTS?
Many good postings here. If smoking is satan,why is the government in partnership with tobacco companies instead of outlawing it? Could it be because they don’t want to share the profits with people in the black market? Besides if the government keeps these tobacco companies around they can always turn around and sue them like they have so many times in the past when they need a financial quick fix. Government is a bigger whore in the story of smoking then the tobacco companies are !!!
So much for free markets and America’s free enterprise system.
So much for Sen Enzi`s lifetime ACU rating of 96.
So much for conservatism.
Enzi has typically been a dependable conservative. I'm baffled by this one.
Apparently, the whole "individual choice for individual consequences" thing has somehow escaped him. :-(
Beautiful! The personal outrage of Carrie Nation helped to establish the powerful crime syndicates that were far more devastating to the U.S. than any amount of booze.
One picture is truly worth a thousand words!
What? They dropped the "market based" description (or just haven't adopted it yet)?
These jokers will not stop until they control the supply of every product (and non-product) known to man!
Same could be said for guns and dope.......
I`ve grown tobacco for 40 years and yet to get
a gov payment. There used to allotments,like rice
and cotton,where you could grow so many acres or lbs.
Now you make a contract with the tobacco co. for
as many lbs as you feel you can grow
Getting ready to cut another field this week-end
You can get as much nicotine as you want, as long as you buy it from Pfizer or Merck in one of their NRT products.
“Why not place it in the same class of drugs as marijuana.”
That thought sexually stimulates law enforcement budget administrators.
>>So much for free markets and Americas free enterprise system.
So much for Sen Enzi`s lifetime ACU rating of 96.
So much for conservatism.<<
Yeah, something is wrong here - have see this story confirmed elsewhere?
What you're missing, if you read closely, is that they don't want you to stop buying cigarettes, they only want you to stop smoking.
In the Utopia these guys envision, you'll keep buying cigarettes, one or two packs a day, but you'll just throw them out and buy another pack or two the next day, so they keep up the tax collections.
That's what I was thinking, the state governments especially are hooked on tobacco taxes. The stuff will just come in illegally, and not be taxed at all.
Couldn’t help but notice hes a republican pushing this. This is the type of reason why I only support certain republican candidates not the party.
Great. Then if someone wants to outlaw tobacco they should go ahead and propose that, instead of trying to eliminate its supply through a nefarious market manipulation cap-and trade scheme.
We’d probably save more if we banned homosexual behavior....since it causes AIDS, and AIDS gets waaay more health care money than it deserves. A hetero male smoker on average lives longer than a homosexual male...65 vs 45, If I’m not mistaken.
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