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22 Jun, 2009 22:21

Obama saves Americans – from smoking

Barack Obama doesn’t want American kids taking up smoking. As a result, he’s signed the strongest anti-smoking bill ever proposed. The president has stated that “it is a law that will save American lives”.

Obama called the measure an extraordinary accomplishment that will help keep children from getting hooked on cigarettes.

The White House embraced the law with a sun-splashed ceremony Monday, and the dozens of invited guests included children from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, who were personally introduced by Obama.

The legislation gives the Food and Drug Administration unprecedented authority to regulate tobacco and cigarette marketing.

But the president, who had a difficult struggle kicking the nicotine habit himself, faces the wrath of the American tobacco industry, which fears it could go up in smoke.

Target: Virginia tobacco

The best cigarettes in the world are said to be produced using Virginia tobacco. And yet the US Government just wants it to go away.

While US. lawmakers regulate the tobacco industry from up on Capitol Hill, something to consider is how this will affect tobacco farmers in states like Virginia, where many people’s lives depend on this crop.

Robert Spiers, who has been farming for 35 years in Virginia, says there is no shame in his hard work. But the difference between himself and his neighbor is that the crop he grows is labeled as harmful to society.

“We grow tobacco for what we consider to be the adult market,” said Spiers. “They make their own decisions, and we take pride in all of the crops that we grow”.

One hundred acres of tobacco are the lifeline for Robert and his son’s families. But if outsiders start meddling in their farming practices, this might soon change.

“What we’re really concerned about is that they may slow down the actual practices that we carry out”, Robert explained.

And they’re not the only ones concerned.

Good Bye to flavored cigarettes

To curb smoking in the US, new legislation has put strict regulations on the tobacco industry. Say goodbye to flavored cigarettes, except for menthol, and prepare for a drastic increase in the size of warning labels that cover every pack of smokes, as tobacco companies are slapped with higher fines.

It’s inevitable that the price of cigarettes will be due for another hike, too. Of course, smokers are not welcoming the news.

Everyone knows smoking is bad, and the US Congress should make tobacco companies be more honest with their customers. But the questions people would ask are why isn’t alcohol or fast food placed under the same strict regulations and why is it that tobacco gets targeted more than everything else?