While this refusal appeared ridiculous, it spoke volumes about the intrusion into our lives that has been institutionalized in our nation. The American cashier is now tasked not only with ringing up sales, but enforcing harsh laws against alcohol and drug consumption.
As we celebrate these twin five-year milestones -- Sternberg's turnaround and the FDA Tobacco Control Act -- let's appreciate the simple pleasure of putting one foot in front of the other, headed in the right direction. And let's keep our eye on the ultimate finish line of a tobacco-free nation.
The debate over e-cigarettes has been heating up. Are the smokeless, battery-powered, nicotine-dispensing devices a gateway to smoking for young people or a helpful way for smokers to quit? Public health experts can be found on both sides of the debate.
As Phillip Morris said in their Virginia Slims ad, attempting to attract female smokers by tapping into the women's liberation movement, "You've come a long way, baby." But the truth is tobacco remains a formidable problem, baby.
Tobacco regulation is just one example of how the TPP will have damaging effects on the world we live in. We need to expose the deadly flaws in these behind-closed-doors negotiations now, before it's too late.
The tobacco industry has long sold smoking by portraying it as cool. The tobacco industry itself has not gone away but it has certainly been forced to curb its marketing practices to be more responsible. That is what must happen with guns, too.