Continuing in the vein of the Good Neighbor Policy, this week's topic is the Disciples of Christ denomination pushing for the federal government to regulate tobacco products. They have joined several other faith groups in the Faith United Against Tobacco campaign.
Regulation can be a tricky topic because it seems innocuous. For example, everyone wants to eat food that is safe, so regulations on food products make sense and are necessary, right? There's nothing wrong with voluntarily seeking regulation, but imposing regulations on others breaks the Good Neighbor Policy by disrespecting their choices. Furthermore, forcing others to fund the imposed regulations disrespects their wealth and their property.
So no, I do not think it's right to seek federal regulation of tobacco. I am not a smoker, never have been, and never intend to be. I am well aware of the health hazards of smoking. Still, I think it is wrong to impose regulations on other people's peaceful choices. Imposed regulation is a lesser degree of prohibition, and neither work very effectively, as history (should have) taught us. Just as the War on Drugs has failed to stop the use of illicit drugs, FDA regulation of tobacco products will not “stop illegal sales of tobacco products to children”, (despite the campaign's claim).
Aside from all that, I must say that as a Christian, it saddens me to see other believers seeking out state regulation to be the “solution to all our problems” instead of private, individual, and voluntary alternatives. Faith United Against Tobacco says, “We believe that faith communities are uniquely situated to bring an ethical and moral dimension to the debate on how to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco products in this country”, and the best solution they come up with is to let some bureaucrats impose regulations?
This article was originally published on INtake Blogsquad