On the heels of a study released Tuesday which found that smoking bans reduce heart attacks, President Obama has endorsed a nation-wide smoking ban. Obama says the move will help cut health care costs and lower the national debt. Political analysts say the move is designed to boost the president's 2012 reelection chances.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), confirmed what researchers have suspected for decades: smokers are more likely to suffer heart attacks as a result of their habit, and forcefully prohibiting them from smoking is the solution. "As public health researchers, we usually can't admit that we just love telling people how to live their lives," said FDA Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, MD. "But since Obama has shamelessly taken the first step, we are proud to say that our research is being used to justify a national smoking ban."
According to a White House report fabricated to support this policy shift by the president, health care costs associated with smoking are responsible for nearly 50% of America's $15 trillion dollar national debt.
An anonymous source in the White House told PolicyMic that the administration was comfortable making up the numbers because "nobody reads this crap anyway. As long we use big words and our press releases sound real science-y, we can get away with almost anything."
Press Secretary Tim Carney said during a press conference that the proposed ban was concocted as a means of appealing to the president's political base. "Since the Republican presidential candidates have made outlandish promises to conservative voters about immigration, gay marriage and fiscal policy, the president feels it was appropriate to promise health nannies in the Democratic Party something they have always wanted — a smoke free America." Carney added, "...This smoking ban is for the children. Smokers don't...hate children...do they?"
The president's harsh new stance on smoking is not without critics, however. The tobacco industry has vowed to derail the nation-wide ban by giving inordinate amounts of money to a handful of powerful Senators.
"This is a grave injustice," said a spokesperson for the tobacco giant Phillip Morris USA. "We will not allow the administration to subvert the political process, and will bribe elected officials in order to stop this gross abuse of executive authority. Nobody gets to manipulate science for the sake of politics without our consent."
Lawyers for the tobacco industry have said they will challenge the ban on constitutional grounds in court. They claim the government has no authority to prohibit smoking across the entire country. When asked how he plans to fight off these legal challenges, Attorney General Eric Holder responded: "lol. The federal government hasn't been restrained by the Constitution for, like, 150 years."
During his weekly radio address, Obama defended the ban by recounting his own struggle with smoking. "I know how hard it is to quit smoking. Although I exerted some willpower and quit on my own, I'm better than most of you. That is why the government is going to make you quit smoking."
Photo Credit: Floyd Brown