Sure, pot looks like its gaining global acceptance (pretty much Uncle Marmot’s only cause for celebration on Election Day. That and the gay marriage referendums), but tobacco is still evil, apparently.
So evil, in fact, that UN busybodies will be gathering in Seoul this week with the aim of limiting tobacco production, putting millions out of work in the process:
Technically known as the fifth Conference of the Parties (CoP5), the week-long meeting at COEX in Gangnam will focus on controversial proposals that attempt to artificially reduce, and eventually phase out the crop through absurd regulations that will have no impact on smoking rates in the world. Although their livelihoods are at stake, not one of the 30 million people who are dependent on tobacco farming worldwide has been invited to attend COP5. Among those being affected will be 25,000 Koreans who are dependent with tobacco farming.
On the table are illogical measures such as regulating the seasons tobacco can be grown and limiting the land on which it can be grown. These ideas are so radical that even tobacco control advocates are calling them “simply impractical.”
The FCTC is also calling on governments to outlaw financial support to tobacco growers, banning technical assistance and contracts between growers and buyers, dismantling the bodies linking growers to governments, and banning minimum prices. And although the recommendations contain some guidance on how to identify and promote economically viable alternatives for tobacco farmers, we are a very long way from being able to provide adequate solutions for farmers in every corner of the world whose livelihoods would be affected by these measures.
It gets worse—it seems they even want to go after cigarette alternatives:
When the World Health Organization’s (WHO) tobacco control group meets in Seoul this week, it risks harming smokers who need help quitting. The group will consider bans on less harmful alternatives to cigarette smoking such as Swedish-style smokeless tobacco, or snus, and E-cigarettes. These products have been shown to help smokers stop smoking. The type of regulation applied to these products is especially important to Korea, which has among the highest rates of cigarette smoking within the OECD.
Much to the chagrin of New York City Nanny-in-Chief Michael Bloomberg, I’m sure, the United States is not a party to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which gives me hope that there may be a God.
You do wonder, though, whether the same folk who were so opposed to the KORUS FTA will be out in force protesting this attempt—by unelected international bureaucrats, no less—to destroy farmers’ livelihoods. Korean tobacco farmers are making a stink, at least.
Let’s watch how this unfolds.