Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Holy Smoke!

The US government wants people to stop smoking. Good idea, you might say. It's not just smelly and expensive, it's bad for you - so bad it can kill you. To that end they have come up with some graphic new images to go on cigarette packaging and advertising. Whoa,hold on say the tobacco companies. Health warnings are one things. But this stuff might actually put folk off smoking. So they are suing the US government. It's a free speech issue, you see. Tobacco is legal & they, as purveyors of the product, shouldn't be forced to be complicit in cutting their own throats, so to speak. 

Now my own take on this is as follows. I take the view expressed in 1 Corinthians that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, to do anything that willfully damages my body or my health is wrong. And to do anything that will damage the body or health of others is even worse.

This means I don't have a very high opinion of those who knowingly set out out to cause damage in the way tobacco companies do. Tobacco is one of the few legal products that if used as intended will injure or kill the user. If the tobacco companies don't like the ads on their legal product, there is an obvious solution. Make it illegal. That would put the big tobacco companies out of business, in the US at least, even if it didn't stop smoking. 

The best compromise is for them to be quiet & do all they can to warn people about the dangers of smoking. It even may be to their benefit - it may undermine the cases of those who want to sue them for the damage their products causes people.

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