If Tobacco were Banned, would the Ban Fail like Prohibition did?

Inspired by the modern discovery of alcohol thread, these are a couple of questions that have been rattling around in my head.

Would a modern day prohibition on tobacco fail like the 18th amendment?

Would marijuana legalization be reversed?

I think the failure of Prohibition makes the banning of tobacco a hard sell, but I think it would be more successful than the 18th amendment turned out to be. I think tobacco smoking is phasing out anyway. If vaping were included in the ban, there might be more squawks, but not enough to amount to a real resistance in my opinion.

There might be an underground traffic in cigarettes, etc., and maybe some associated violence, but hell, violence is so commonplace now, I doubt we would even know the difference.

But I think the hard fought for legalization of marijuana would suffer a tremendous setback.
Weed, as I understand it, is considered just as carcinogenic as tobacco.

What do you think?

It would fail harder and faster. Tobacco is quite possibly the most addictive substance that we’ve messed with on a wide scale. Most people who’ve been hooked on both alcohol and tobacco, and a substantial number of people who’ve been addicted to both tobacco and heroin, even, have testified that kicking nicotine was the more difficult experience. It’s unhealthy but doesn’t derail a person’s moment to moment coping and functioning the way alcohol and heroin definitely do — or even the way marijuana does, which is far less inarguable — so that will feed into a widely shared attitude that banning it is overreach. It’s pretty cheap to produce the stuff. Grows natively in our climate. And the world is smaller and more close-knit than it was in the 19th century when we tried (alcohol) prohibition, so it’s legality elsewhere would mean a ready supply that most wealthy to semi-wealthy addicted people could easily avail themselves.

It would fail without any question. AHunter3 summed up the addictive part. Taking something away by edict won’t work in the US apparently. It would be especially stupid to try as we’re finally reversing the stupid of the having made marijuana illegal and worse yet a class 3 felony.

No, we need to continue to educate people and we’re slowly decreasing the addiction of the public in general by having a lower percentage take up smoking.

I think I should clarify that I actually would oppose a ban on tobacco because its use is steadily falling, and I don’t think there are that many kids starting up the habit like there used to be. Except for vaping, but I don’t think those numbers will add up to a lot.

How do you define “Fail like Prohibition did”?

Would it get reversed in a decade or so? I don’t think so.

Would it have little influence on consumption? I think it would push consumption down a lot initially. There are many of smokers who try and fail at quitting, many of those would benefit from the end of legal tobacco sales. There would also be a group who would double down on their smoking of course, but they’ll be in the minority.

Of course that is assuming we lived in a world where such a ban was realistic. In the real world, assuming a miraculous dem supermajority combined with alien mind control causing them to create a tobacco ban, Tucker Carlson would get his viewers to start another civil war over a ban on tobacco.

If a tobacco ban came about in the same way that Prohibition did, I actually think it would have a shot at getting passed.

Remember that the backbone of the temperance movement was Protestant religious groups. If the modern GOP’s evangelical base suddenly decided that tobacco was a sin and its use needed to be curtailed, it could very well find strong support among liberal groups who’ve been concerned about it as a public health issue for years. Liberal progressives would be thrilled to finally find common ground with the powerful evangelical lobbying groups.

So it gets passed, but for the reasons already mentioned upthread it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of being effectively enforced. If anything, certain states would just use it as another tool in their arsenal of disproportionate enforcement against POC.

Banning cigarettes but not tobacco products might have a better shot, but we’re still figuring out long-term effects of vaping and for all we know ubiquitous vaping is a healthcare catastrophe waiting to happen.

New Zealand are trying to create a smoke free generation by prohibiting sales of tobacco to anyone born after 2008. Will it work? I don’t know. It gets around the problem of existing addiction for most smokers.

It’s significantly banned, already. Because it is a fire hazard, “No Smoking” signs have been around as long as cigarettes, and because smoking tobacco is a health hazard and annoyance to people other than the smokers themselves, it is increasingly banned in public places. If other banned drugs are any indication, banned tobacco use would just be moved to places where the ban can’t practically be enforced…where most of it’s current use already is.

My wife and I had a video chat with her cousin in New Zealand a few weeks ago. We talked about this and she said most people in NZ think it will fail. Tobacco taxes in NZ have pushed the price of a pack of smokes to almost $20NZ, this has helped reduce the number of smokers in the country. But tax revenues are still a good chunk of many places budgets. She said the Maori people are fighting this, many of them make a living selling tobacco products in native smoke shops.

We’re seeing a steady decline in the percentage of smokers due to health concerns, anti-public smoking legislation and costs. No need for a total ban, which would, like Prohibition be largely unsuccessful and encourage organized crime.

Um…huh? The two are not remotely in the same ballpark.

Vaping in schools now is a lot more common than smoking in schools used to be, probably due in large part to the fact that it’s harder to get caught vaping. And those kids are going to be just as addicted as smokers were.

As for cancer, as I understand it, that’s mostly from burning something and deliberately inhaling the smoke, which is substantially the same for tobacco and marijuana (except that marijuana smokers typically smoke a smaller amount than tobacco smokers). But of course, both THC and nicotine have other, non-smoke, methods of delivery.

I expect to see in my lifetime, the USA banning public smoking of anything. You’ll be able to purchase THC products in liquor stores though. Considering how well the bans on marijuana, cocaine, heroin etc have worked I’d be stunned if a ban on tobacco worked.

Author Jack London was thrilled when prohibition became the law of the land. He was an alcoholic convinced that this would make it difficult for him to drunk and force him into sobriety. He was mistaken.

If someone wants to grow their own tobacco and smoke it, I’d be cool with that.

Let’s just say quitting barbituates was a lot easier than stopping smoking. 20-ish years later, I won’t take one puff because it took years for that occasional craving to go away and I never want to go through that again.

You can make drinkable alcohol in a spare closet.

Growing and producing smokable tobacco is a little more involved than that.

You probably could have said this in the late 80s / early 90s. But violent crime has dropped a lot since then, and although it is hard to do a like for like comparison, it’s probably lower than in the 1930s.
Yes, even with the plague of mass shootings.

I don’t think tobacco prohibition would have any effect on crime rates. There is already cigarette smuggling in this country (to avoid state taxes) so much of the resulting violence is already baked in.

The Thirties were off the charts for crime and violence. We, as a society, are way better off now in every conceivable way. Except for the nuclear threat, that is.

My mom used to be the coordinator of a community gardener. One of the gardeners once asked if it’d be OK for him to grow tobacco in his plot. She researched it the best she could, and ended up telling him it was OK.

Northern Ohio surely isn’t the best climate for growing tobacco, but I gather that the gardener got enough from it for his personal use.

Home grown cigarettes. Alton Brown would approve.