Right to Life Issues
Noting the Common Link

It is well understood that preventing abortion and suicide are right-to-life issues. What is often overlooked by laymen, is that there is a common element in these two matters: Cigarette smoking, as medical analyses have long shown.

Smokers disproportionately abort and commit suicide. Details are at the highlighted links.

The right to life concept therefore, for maximum effectiveness, includes all life-related issues including alcoholism prevention, drug-abuse prevention, divorce prevention, and crime prevention. Again, the common link among these issues is cigarette smoking. Smokers disproportionately are alcoholics, drug abusers, and criminals.

All these effects and correlations arise due to cigarette smoke toxic chemicals in overwhelmingly huge quantities.

Many people are concerned about crime and the criminal justice system. Notice that our ancestors of the nineteenth century knew about the tobacco and crime link. As education has deteriorated, laymen no longer are taught this, i.e., know less than the great-grandparents! on this subject. For example, click to see what Thomas Edison knew in 1914! And our state representatives in 1889!

It used to be that people understood how doctors know what they know on these subjects. But no more.

Once education deteriorated, more people became smokers, disproportionately the uneducated. Instead of becoming smoke-free, as our turn-of-the century ancestors intended (via cigarette bans in many states including Iowa, Michigan and Tennessee), smoking grew. Result: abortions, suicides, alcoholism, divorce, drug abuse, crimes.

Instead of crime reduction via becoming a smoke-free society, instead of being able to reduce prisons, we build more prisons. Now people fear crime, a fear that our nineteenth century ancestors heading us toward a smoke-free society, thought they had essentially ended for us, their descendants.

Education on all right-to-life issues, as they interlock and interlink, is thus essential. The goal is to achieve the ancient common law "right of fresh and pure air," a right people no longer remember that they have! Education has indeed deteriorated. And the way to institutionalize the right, and thus achieve right-to-life goals, is to follow the Tennessee and Michigan lead: cigarette control.

Once there is far less abortion, suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, and crime, a significant aspect of the pressure for big government (e.g., more and more police, prosecutors, prisons, and attendant taxes, costs and diversion of societal resources) will decline as our turn-of-the-century ancestors intended.

So for maximum effectiveness, the right to life concept is an integral and essential part of the nonsmoker movement. When we work together, we can solve the underlying factor in these various societal problems.

We encourage all to follow the Iowa example, or at least, the Michigan example of cigarette control. Cigarette control is something in which Michigan was one leader, in 1909! under then three-term Governor Fred Warner.

Courtesy, State Archives of Michigan

Current three-term Michigan Governor John Engler and staff are following that excellent lead, for example, see

Exec Order 1992-3
Pro-Law Letter # 1
Cigarette Smuggling Memo
Pro-Law Letter # 2
E-Mail Overview

Where laws such as these above-cited, the common law "right to fresh and pure air," Tennessee's, or Michigan's, do not exist or are not obeyed, there are two alternative approaches: (a) getting cigarettes included in controlled substances acts, and (b) lawsuits by smokers and nonsmokers to (1) obtain injunctions to get compliance, and (2) obtain money damages for the harm already occurring. The first option should be to follow our ancestors' lead, get the laws. When that fails, as we see widespread, then encourage litigation to achieve these right-to-life goals. Encourage both nonsmokers and smokers to litigate to obtain full compliance with the laws. Examples:

Encourage Employers Not to Hire Smokers
Encourage Smokers To Sue When Injured
Encourage Employees to Sue For Smoke-free Workplaces
Encourage Officials to Sue To Recover Tobacco-Caused Taxpayer Costs

Laymen may not understand how these facts and actions link together to promote the right-to-life cause, but YOU know: cigarettes, the common link. Of course, encourage education on these subjects, help reverse the deteriorating quality of education. And oppose so-called "tort reform" (often sought surreptitiously by tobacco lobbyists and front groups) that would deprive people, taxpayers, and right-to-life of any/all means of achieving our right-to-life goals. We need ALL our ancient remedies including those currently under attack (those in the tort system).

Choose legislators and other elective officials who support our cause, i.e., who are against tobacco and smoking. Their charming words on the sole issues of abortion and suicide are inadequate. If they are behind-the-scenes (or, openly), pro-tobacco, they are our enemy, regardless of their words. And if they are against us on the words on abortion and suicide, but they are anti-tobacco/smoking, they are FOR our cause, even unknowingly. We must not lose sight of the distinction between cause and effect. Every juror knows it, we should too (referring to the fact the prisons are full of people who say they meant the act, just not the result!!)

Especially, once we have good people elected, encourage all your legislators, state, local, and federal, to support laws such as the Tennessee and Michigan version of genuine cigarette control, a ban on cigarette sales, and/or cigarette manufacture and giveaway, the genuine solution, the genuine way to achieve the full ramifications of right-to-life goals.

When we work together in this way, rather than fighting among ourselves (as does happen, we all know), we can achieve our common goals.

Information Service by
The Crime Prevention Group

Copyright 2000 TCPG