Thursday, August 17, 2023

Pot Okay, But No Cigars!

Recently, a group of senators led by Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to ban, or at minimum heavily regulate, flavored cigar sales. In response, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products said it will likely take action in the weeks ahead. The agency purports to be concerned that teenagers are smoking these cigars-- and are at risk of becoming addicted.

Yet, statistics show that fewer youth than ever are smoking cigars, flavored cigars included. The FDA should know this because it funded a definitive recent study, published by The New England Journal of Medicine, that analyzed the tobacco use of over 13,000 children from 12 to 17 years old. The study showed that only 2.3% of the kids had ever smoked a traditional cigar, and less than one in a hundred had tried one within the past 30 days.

Contrast our government representatives’ actions and FDA concern about cigars to their almost unquestioning, wholesale sanctioning of increased marijuana usage. Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe this dichotomy. Illogical? Insane might be more appropriate.

Many people who smoke cigars don’t (deliberately) inhale the smoke. The whole point of smoking pot is to inhale—and hold the smoke in your lungs deeply and for as long as possible…to achieve the high. Moreover, higher combustion temperatures are reached when smoking pot because it is typically smoked to a shorter butt, which leads to a carboxyhemoglobin concentration that is five times higher than tobacco. Also, roughly three times more tar is inhaled when smoking marijuana as opposed to tobacco. What’s more, the quantity of THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis) found in weed has tripled in less than three decades, causing teens and others to experience addiction, psychosis, and chronic vomiting.

How times have changed. Today, nearly half (48%) of U.S. adults say they have tried marijuana at some point in their lives, up from only 4% in 1969, when Gallup first started surveying rates of lifetime marijuana use. That same year, 40% of Americans said that they had smoked a cigarette in the past week.

This is not to say I am a fan of smoking tobacco. Like far too many others, I have lost family members to lung and other cancers-- likely at least partially due to tobacco use.

This is to say, however, that there is a growing psychosis in America, marijuana-induced or not. Many people—woke, progressive, leftist, Democrat—no longer appear to have the ability to rationally process information, construct a reasonable argument, or even to perceive or acknowledge reality or objective truth.

Cigarettes and cigars? BAD! Pot? GOOD! Trying to limit abortions? BAD! “Their body, their choice!” Forcing people to accept an experimental mRNA vaccine into their bodies, even if they are young and healthy? GOOD! “Screw their free will and bodily autonomy!” Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams,, vehemently and incessantly question election results? Meh. Their right to do so. Donald Trump questions an election result? Indict and imprison him! BLM and Antifa thugs burn down sections of major cities? Support them in their noble cause! Trump supporters-- almost certainly egged on and abetted by federal government operatives-- riot in front of, and stroll through, the Capitol Building, A.K.A. “The People’s House?” Fry the bastards!

Ad infinitum.

Those of us who’d like to drain the swamp can try all we’d like…but it’s likely the best result will be “close, but no cigar.”

But, on the bright side, we can always light up a big doobie, joint, or spliff.


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