Minus any help from prohibition, the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center of California revealed the state’s lung cancer rates due to tobacco have plummeted by 28 percent.
The latest statistics are terrible news for former Indiana governor Mike Pence who argued in 2001 that tobacco smoking doesn’t kill. Pence subsequently raised $39,000 from tobacco lobbyists shortly after his declaration of tobacco’s innocence.
Tossing the evils of prohibition aside, the UC researchers attribute the lung cancer reduction to serious consideration of the evidence of a tobacco-cancer link that led to a 1988 voter initiative assigning tobacco control to the California Department of Public Health.
Details of the research are contained in a Cancer Prevention Research abstract:
October 10, 2018—Three cigarette smoking behaviors influence lung cancer rates: how many people start, the amount they smoke, and the age they quit. California has reduced smoking faster than the rest of the US and trends in these 3 smoking behaviors should inform lung cancer trends. […]
There was no marked California effect on quitting or intensity among seniors. From 1986-2013, annual lung cancer mortality decreased more rapidly in California and by 2013 was 28% lower (62.6 vs 87.5/100,000) than in the rest of the US. California’s tobacco control efforts were associated with a major reduction in cigarette smoking among those under age 35 years. These changes will further widen the lung cancer gap that already exists between California and the rest of the US.
The success of California’s Department of Public Health in curtailing tobacco smoking is just one more example of how a state’s regulation succeeds where prohibition fails.
The results expose prohibition’s bumbling nonsense that causes prohibited substances to seem exciting or highly adventurous, a provocative forbidden fruit, an identity focal point for teenage mutineers; as well as a juridical tool tyrants and authoritarians use to punish or eliminate rebels, dissenters, or the disenfranchised.
Vice President Mike Pence’s record on illicit drugs and related substances proves he’s openly contemptuous of millennials—the latest beneficiaries of the American Revolution, no less. Were he an ally, or even a reasonable human being, Pence would publicly correct his disinformation about the links between tobacco and lung cancer and he would come out in favor of legalizing comparably safer cannabis and psychedelic products.