Apparently the government makes $26.6 billion from taxes on tobacco sales or settlements from Big Tobacco. So, you would think that a good chunk of this would go towards funding programs meant to educate people about the dangers of smoking, preventing young people from smoking, and helping those who do smoke quit.
But you would be thinking wrong. Big Government does not think the way you and I do. In fact, you might be surprised to learn -- as I was (nah! I wasn't surprised. Nothing the government does or doesn't do ever surprises me. But I digress) -- that less than 2% of this money goes towards youth smoking prevention programs. This is rather pathetic to say the least.
I am not a fan of the government getting involved in most things. When politicians see a problem, their solution is say they feel your pain and then their solutions tend to be programs that involve spending other peoples money. And, worse, these programs usually make the problems they aim to solve worse.
However, when it comes to cigarettes, the governments actions are necessary. I believe this to be true because your right to smoke cigarettes ends with my right to breathe fresh air. Likewise, it was the government that was aware of the dangers of smoking even as they doled them out and got soldiers addicted during WWII.
It only makes sense that, if the government is making revenue from tobacco sales, that a majority of that money should be used to reduce the sales of cigarettes. Of course, if this happened, then this income would be lost. So, that should explain why Uncle Sam is so hesitant to spend this money where it should be spent.
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