By now, we’ve all seen anti-vaping propaganda. It can be found on TV, YouTube, poorly-crafted websites, online forums, and virtually any media you can imagine. How much does it cost to create this bogus content, and how much does it cost to broadcast it to every American home? According to my research, it’s in the hundreds of millions. Who is paying for this malarchy? Why, it’s you! The tax-paying American!
In their latest assault on vaping, the California Department of Public Health launched a campaign to smear the public perception of vaping. According to Americans for Tax Reform, this campaign cost the taxpayers $75 million.
California has a storied history of anti-vaping laws. The state sold their Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement annuities (which were supposed to be used to educate the public on the dangers of smoking) for pennies on the dollar. According to Cezary Podkul of ProPublica, California is on the hook for $3.7 billion on a $350.5 million bond. The securitization of the MSA bonds was a shady cash-grab, and it was met with scorn from those that drafted the original MSA agreement. Will California default on their loan? Finance Professor at California State University, San Bernardino, Jim Estes states, “They’re doomed… It’s not a question of whether or not, it’s a question of when.”
When a state as large and as populous as California is sure to default on their tobacco-reduction debt, they have an ironic vested interest in tobacco sales. Is it far-fetched to think California has taken an anti-vaping stance to rekindle cigarette revenue? I think not. Smoking has been on a steady decline since 1998, and the meteoric rise of vaping may have influenced the downfall of cigarette smoking. Desperate times for bureaucrats take desperate bureaucratic measures.
Since very little of the MSA money goes towards tobacco cessation and education, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist unleashed the following invective unto the California Department of Public Health:
“The orchestrators of this campaign at the California Department of Public Health should be ashamed of themselves. For years, public health bureaucrats claimed that efforts to discourage smoking were about increasing public health. This most recent $75 million taxpayer-funded effort has further exposed the fraud of those claims by demonstrating that anti-vaping government activists care about one thing and one thing alone: money. Campaigns like this are clearly aimed at preventing smokers from making the transition to a much healthier alternative so that the state can continue to fund big government initiatives with cigarette tax revenue.”
Want to see your tax dollars at work? Here’s a very unpopular video from Tobacco Free California, which reiterates the same wide-eyed lunacy of past FUD:
On a satisfying note, the video has 1,926 dislikes, and a measly 325 likes at this time. Feel free to contribute to the dislikes, to protest the torrent of tax-funded misinformation.
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