It has now been more than half a century since the United States government officially started attacking cigarette and cigar smoking as harmful to our health. It has been almost as long since our government started punishing cigarette manufacturers and restricting individual cigarette tobacco smoking and adding onerous taxes on tobacco.
One would assume that a good scientific study had been done to validate the legitimacy of this government intervention in commerce and personal freedom. There has been 60 years, more than half a century in which to do such research.
Anyone who knows how much smoking offends the Puritan sensibility, will guess that: no reliable research has been done.
Such an experiment could easily have been done in federal or state prisons with long-term prisoners. A sample in one state with no smoking enforced on a sample group, effectively with serious punishment and free smoking in a comparable sample group in another state. Such samples could have been tracked over many decades so that real mortality would be no known. The sample size need only be in the low thousands to have a very high level of reliability. After all we are only measuring a difference between 3% of non-smokers who die of lung cancer and 9% of smokers. Anti-smoking ideologues claim a dozen other causes of death are the result of smoking.
No such study was done. No one really cares about the realities of science or medicine.
The antismoking tyranny enforced by our government and many others is based on Puritanical bias.
I didn’t suggest prisoners because their smoking would be acceptable. They will smoke anyway. I chose prisoners because a sample of them could possibly be forced to not smoke with sufficient effort, inducement and supervision.