Frank T Bird
Cigarettes: The Worst Form of Government Subservience
There are more obvious ways of serving your government, but there aren’t many that cost you this much
Your Government cares for you.
That's what we are forced to believe in order to stay sane in this murky world.
That's why the government does things for its people, like locking away the bad guys, mandating vaccinations, and putting warnings on cigarette packets, right?
Did you know that more than eight million people a year die from smoking cigarettes?
Tobacco kills up to half of its users. More than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. (World Health Organisation)
But yes, we know this, don’t we? As a smoker, the last thing you want is someone banging on about the odds of you dying painfully. Here’s another interesting statistic:
5,065,131 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as of November 08, 2021
So let me understand this. In less than two years COVID-19 has killed five million. In those same two years, the cigarette industry has killed over sixteen million — more than three times as many?
I’m not pulling up these statistics to talk down COVID nor to talk up cigarette smoking. But let's clear something up here:
Cigarette smoking is still legal
Doesn’t that make you wonder about your government and their connection to the tobacco industry?
Here are some other interesting facts:
Cigarettes are designed to be addictive.
Cigarette companies enhance the natural nicotine found in tobacco through chemical addition and manipulation.
This means that cigarettes are not only naturally addictive but also cleverly designed to be that way.
Nicotine delivery regulators facilitate the delivery of rewarding doses of nicotine. Ammonia compounds are added to some brands in order to increase the level of unprotonated nicotine in the smoke. (Source)
Has anyone wondered why this process is still legal?
We have just witnessed the biggest global action in the history of the world. Now here we have a problem that kills more than three times as many people and it's not only still legal, but the companies responsible are legally allowed to make it more addictive (effectively increasing fatalities).
The Government makes more money from smoking than tobacco companies. (A lot more)
Seventy per cent of the cost of a packet of cigarettes goes to the Government. It is a massive source of income for them. So why would they want you to quit?
Treasury is billing the increase as a health measure, saying the World Health Organisation recommends a tax rate of 70% of the price of a cigarette, but the revenue gain is significant.(Guardian)
Tobacco is also contraband. That means tobacco companies can produce it but you can’t (legally).
Penalties for manufacturing or producing illicit tobacco include: criminal penalty — this is a criminal conviction with a prison sentence of up to 10 years or at least a $333,000 fine or both. (Australian Tax Office)
I read an article talking recently about how electronic cigarettes with nicotine were being banned as they are considered a ‘gateway drug’ to cigarettes.
Have you ever heard anything so absurd?
There is evidence that nicotine vaping products act as a ‘gateway’ to smoking in youth and exposure to nicotine in adolescents may have long-term consequences for brain development.(Therapeutic Goods Administration)
They are making nicotine vaping illegal because it is a gateway drug to tobacco (which is legal).
Just read that again. Go on, and really think about it.
We must remember here that it is legal for companies to wine and dine politicians and offer political donations in exchange for political favours
Perhaps that is another statement that should be really thought about.
How does the Government benefit from your smoking?
In the last question time of 2019, Scott Morrison talked up the government’s budget management and the way it was delivering infrastructure and services to all manner of Australians. “All of this has been delivered in a surplus budget without the need to increase taxes,” he said. Poppycock. His comment about increased taxes was just straight out wrong. Taxes on tobacco continue to climb and deliver a huge financial windfall to the budget. (Sydney Morning Herald)
It’s not just the forecast surplus that is being mutated by tobacco excise. The entire budget process is in thrall to nicotine. When Tony Abbott became PM, the federal government collected $7.7 billion in tobacco excise (in the first budget of Wayne Swan it had been $5.5 billion before going up on the back of excise increases).
This year, the government hopes to collect $17.2 billion. That’s despite a huge drop in the proportion of smokers. Over the past year alone, smoking consumption (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics) has fallen by almost 7 per cent.
Tobacco excise is now the fourth largest single tax collected by the Commonwealth. Two in every five dollars of excise and customs duty comes from tobacco. (SMH)
Do you still think that your government wants you to quit smoking?
But the Government protects us by putting warnings on the packet, right?
In the ’80s, there was a trend where people were suing tobacco companies for making them sick. Their reaction was to start putting warnings on cigarette packets. These warnings have gotten stronger and stronger, resulting in the entire package becoming one giant warning.
The findings of this study suggest that cigarette packaging warnings may experience a loss of effectiveness over time, eventually resulting in minimal impact on smoker behaviour.(TID.org)
What is disguised as a caring measure designed to look like your Government cares about you is a disclaimer by the tobacco companies to make sure that they don’t have to give you any of your money back once you get sick (and you will get sick).
It’s a win-win for them and a lose-lose for you.
I'm generally not one to lecture people about smoking. I was a smoker myself for fifteen years. If the fact that you are giving your life in taxes to your government isn’t enough to make you quit, here is one more reminder about the non-financial costs.
The people that suffer most from your habit are your family and friends
There is no pleading ignorant anymore. If you smoke cigarettes for an extended period, you will get very sick.
Now, if you could fast forward in time to experience yourself lying in hospital being fed drugs to keep you alive whilst your now skeletal and wasted body struggles to breathe through lungs filled with holes, I imagine you would stop pretty quickly
The worst thing about such a fast-forward is that you would get to see your family and friends looking at you through their pain and love for you. You would see their agony in watching someone they care for dearly suffer intolerable agony.
And it is intolerable. Don’t laugh. Emphysema and Lung cancer are hellish agonies of the highest order. You will not be able to breathe, and you will feel horrific pain that even the strongest painkillers will not be able to help you with.
This will be your legacy, your parting gift to them. This is what they will remember you for most!
I want you to know that if you smoke cigarettes, you are a victim of one of the biggest scams of the century. It is a scam that is worth trillions to many, all at your expense.
So I suppose the only question left is,