Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Smoke-Filled Lungs and Empty Stomachs

A 21st century corollary to the idealistic hope, "Suppose they gave a war and nobody came," could be "Suppose everybody stopped smoking and tobacco farmers grew food instead."

The outlandish idea of devoting millions of acres to feeding hungry people rather than shortening their lives is reflected in new stirrings by Big Government and Big Money.

The House of Representatives will vote this week on a breakthrough bill to empower the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco as it now regulates food, drugs and medical devices, an important step toward bringing a death-dealing industry under control.

Meanwhile, two billionaires--New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates--are pledging $375 million to fight what they called a global tobacco epidemic.

As food shortages rise and health care is unavailable to multitudes, inhabitants of a rational world might see crop rotation from tobacco to food as a logical way of filling empty stomachs and cutting down on cancer and heart disease at the same time.

We are living in a rational world, aren't we?

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