California Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, has introduced a bill to make it illegal for people to smoke in their own homes -- if they live in an apartment or a condo or a multifamily home. When last I wrote about Levine, he was pushing a statewide law to require grocers to charge for bags. Now he's after cigarettes -- but only the legal kind.
The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Lung Association wrote Proposition 29, the measure on the June 5 ballot in California to increase the state's cigarette tax by $1, to $1.87 per pack.
The legendary Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said the most important element of the Constitution "is the principle of free thought -- not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate."
It is easy to see why one-in-five small businesses list regulations as their biggest obstacle; just look at Tampa-based J.C. Newman Cigar Company. At 116 years old, it is America's oldest family-owned premium cigar maker. In 1895, J.C. Newman borrowed $50 and started a cigar company. At the time, he was an unemployed cigar maker eager to achieve the American Dream.
The FDA's gruesome new labels are not designed to provide consumers with useful information about the hazards of smoking. After 45 years of mandatory Surgeon General's warnings, every non-comatose American knows perfectly well that cigarettes are a noxious health risk.
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