Just A Note Of Preemptive Hypocrisy On Tobacco And Abortion

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

CVS stopped selling tobacco in its stores – one presumes because it’s a) not as much of a money-maker as it used to be, and b) it’s a pain in the ass to regulate and store, and c) they’ll get brownie points with non-smokers for making a big whoo-hoo about not selling it.
(Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good move – but I note that the risk of fatty foods and various kinds of deaths is even more linked than tobacco, and yet I don’t see them giving up the Hostess cakes.)
But one assumes this means that within a few years, other stores will follow suit, until in some locations cigarettes will become much more of a pain in the ass to get, even though it’s perfectly legal.  I actually sympathize.  I’m no fan of smoking, but if you want to torment your lungs in the privacy of your own home, I say you should be able to do it.  This means folks may have to walk further to get their cigs – and Lord knows cigarette smokers may find that walk a little more troublesome than the rest of us.
Yet there’s a certain intersection of people I’d like to tell proactively to shut up.
If you have done everything in your power to make the operation of perfectly-legal abortion clinics so troublesome that there’s now practically nowhere in your state that it can be done, thanks to your efforts, then you don’t get to complain if and when it becomes a pain in the ass to find tobacco.  It’s the same principle at work: if enough people protest, the people who run the places will stop making it available, even if it remains technically legal.
This is often an unpleasant process for those who want the things that others don’t.  But it’s a fact of life: you don’t have to outlaw something to make it hard to get, you just have to make it really unpopular.  In this case, cigarette usage is on the decline in America, and one suspects that rather than reducing their stock-in-trade and making the tortuous explanation of why we carry Marlboro but not Pall Mall any more, CVS decided there was more good PR to be mined by ditching it.
Good for them.

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