Election time is almost upon us and I am sure that many of you have made up your minds as to where (or whom) your votes will go. I do not mean to advocate any political agenda here. After all, this is a cigar blog and not a political blog. Still, such a major event is going to have effects for many years to come and it is simply hard to stay away from the discussion. In any case, what I am about to present is something that is very close to our hearts â€“ where the presidential candidates stand when it comes to cigars and smoking and tobacco in general. Many thanks to the Stogie Guys for the information.
First point â€“ taxes on tobacco:
Obama clearly favors funding programs with tobacco taxes. He voted for the SCHIP cigar tax increase and has pledged to sign the bill into law. His campaign calls the senator â€œan ardent supporter of SCHIP.â€
McCainâ€™s position on tobacco taxes has been far less clear. He voted against versions of the SCHIP bill with the tobacco tax increase and has criticized the tax, taking the position that â€œit makes no sense to encourage people to live healthierâ€¦while making the government even more dependent on having people smoke.â€ However, McCain has a long history of advocating for tobacco taxes, specifically on cigarettes. Only a year ago he was quoted as saying, â€œI still regret we did not succeedâ€ when asked about past efforts to increase cigarette taxes by $1.10 per pack.
Second â€“ smoking ban:
John McCain has been a advocate for regulating tobacco under the FDA since the mid-1990s when he co-sponsored a bill to that effect. Indeed, the issue has been called â€œone of the most significant efforts of his congressional career.â€ In the past year, however, critics of McCain claim he has backed away from that position, despite the fact that he remains a co-sponsor of the FDA bill.
Obama is also a co-sponsor of the bill to regulate tobacco through the FDA. Anti-tobacco advocates say FDA regulation of tobacco is â€œinevitableâ€ under a McCain or Obama presidency.
I leave it to you to interpret the data. Thereâ€™s more where that came from, by the way.