The FDA’s Campaign against Choice

Stand to Reason Blog

Americans are in for a rude awakening. Starting September 2012, some people will wake up to strategically-placed graphic pictures. And they won’t like what they see. But it’s about time. Countless lives are lost because of this “choice.” What’s most surprising is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the ones behind this new graphic image campaign. Why? So people will be outraged by what they see and do something to stop it. I’m talking, of course, about smoking.

That’s right. The FDA is on a mission to get Americans to kick the habit. Taking a cue from the pro-life playbook, they’re going to slap graphic images onto cigarette boxes to depict the health risks of smoking. One disturbing image shows a man holding a cigarette while he blows smoke out of his tracheostomy, which is a surgical hole in the front of his neck that extends into the windpipe. Another picture is a close-up of a person’s mouth with a cancerous tumor on the lip. The caption reads, “Cigarettes cause cancer.”

But I’m mystified by the FDA’s willingness to infringe on a person’s freedom to choose. Aren’t Americans allowed to do what they want with their own bodies? It’s like the abortion-rights slogan, “My body, my choice.” If it’s ever fitting to invoke this right to bodily freedom, it’s when a person chooses to smoke. It’s their body. Therefore, it’s their choice. So why does the FDA want to interfere?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to defend smoking or downplay its health risks. I’ve worked in hospitals for ten years and seen the damage that cigarette smoking can do. I’ve worked to rehabilitate cancer patients who have lost the strength to sit, stand, and walk. I’ve even dissected deceased human beings and seen the tar-stained lungs of smokers. Do I think cigarette smoking is unhealthy? Absolutely. That’s why I understand the FDA’s motivation to protect the health of Americans. But shouldn’t the government stay out of the personal choices of Americans…

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Stand to Reason Blog: The FDA’s Campaign against Choice

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