Tobacco companies after 11 years of appeals are scheduled to start a 52-week campaign on the health dangers of cigarettes and second and smoking. Tobacco companies are not doing this out of their own free will and for the benefit of the community. They are being forced by the justice department to run the ads. They were ordered to run the ads after the federal court found they engaged in major wrongdoing that has resulted in a large number of deaths per year. They were held responsible for the amount of suffering, economic loss and the burden they have put on the health care system.
Personally, I hate tobacco companies for the reason highlighted above, but putting aside my disdain for the Tobacco industry, this is taking it too far by the feds. This is imposing speech on private coöperation, it is not different from forcing Christians organizations to advertise abortions in the care centers. Or forcing doctors to endorse medications they know is bad for patients. There is such a thing as personal responsibility, no one can tell me that people do not know the dangers of smoking. As the report from the Washington Times says, what will be next? are we going to force Macdonald’s to advertise on the meals that their food causes diabetes? This is not different from people blaming the social media and fake news from our own inability to critically think and analyze what is real and what is not real.
I understand 50 years ago when we did not have that much information on the dangers of smoking. But normally I am hesitant to say settled science, but the science on the effect of smoking on the body is irrefutable. At some point, as I have stated above, personal responsibility should take over, it is not like the companies are holding a gun to your head and saying smoke now.
I live in Australia, and as with anything these days, it will not be long until other countries follow suit. People that are concerned with free speech, expression, and the free market capitalist system we all enjoy, should come out and defend the Tobacco companies. I know we all hate tobacco companies, but what frightens me, in this case, is that the justice department was able to force companies with a lot of money and legal power to say and do things against their will. It will not be long until the government starts to impose speech on regular people. If that happens what chance do we all have
Again I hate Tobacco companies, I am defending them here purely based on free speech principle; the government has no rights to tell us which speech we should use and not use. And anyone that is for free speech, regardless of your feeling towards Tobacco companies should oppose this. I don’t know whether this is another case where the judge makes a ruling that is not rooted in any law but makes it with the view of shaping public policy.
I have mixed feeling about this, what do you guys think?