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The Federal Regulatory Superstate Takes Aim at Tobacco

Federal regulatory overreach is crippling our nation and our economy.

The subject matter of this post is somewhat off topic, however, it involves a dramatic example of what I tell my clients is a pox on freedom and free markets: federal regulatory overreach. Federal regulations are suffocating the American entrepreneur. While it makes for good business for lawyers and compliance officials in the private sector, in the long term, it is bad for America.

It had been sometime since I had read any notable on news on the “war” on smoking. But today we learn that federal regulators are still abusing federal law. The FDA is now mandating that cigarette makers must place graphic images on cigarette packages to warn consumers of the dangers of smoking. A diseased lung. A crying baby enveloped by  smoke. Dirty yellow teeth. And who knows what other parade of horribles consumers can expect.

I know a lot of victims of smoking, in my family included, that have died or are sick from years of smoking. These folks knew it was bad for their health and knew the risks. They did not need the government telling them it was bad, one just knows, swallowing smoke is generally not a good thing. The war by trial lawyers on tobacco and smoking has reached new levels. What they could not get in court, the unleash with the federal regulatory superstate.

I do not smoke and do not like to be around folks that are smoking. Yet what is more disturbing than smoking, is the federal government overreaching legal bounds with silly federal rules such as this photo on a pack campaign (warning, graphic images). I hope the tobacco companies take these folks to the legal woodshed. There must be a First Amendment or Commerce Clause argument just itching to come out to the surface on this issue.

If you practice regulatory law in this town long enough, you’ll learn that federal regulatory overreach is not limited to the FDA. It reaches just about every realm of the American economy including, unfortunately, the Internet – one of the last remaining, almost federal regulatory-free zones. Federal regulatory overreach is crippling our nation and our economy. Voters should pay close attention to who they send to this town to represent them and ask tough questions about what they plan to do to scale back the regulatory superstate.

 

 

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