Cigarettes are not illegal but city, state and the federal government are stretching the Constitution to do everything they can to limit the damage done by smoking, especially to our youth.

Their theory is that we all end up paying for the results when smokers eventually get sick so “we” as a society must act to prevent young people from smoking as an act of collective fiduciary responsibility. They argue that without action the healthcare industry is going broke from treating smokers from smoke related illnesses. They say we must protect people from themselves because smoking is sooooooo addictive.

Armed with an obvious belief that behavior can be modified by Big Brother programs, the government spends millions of dollars in PSA’s starring drug addicted sitcom stars urging young people not to start smoking.

They’ve even prohibited tobacco companies from advertising in certain situations whee minors might see it and be influenced. Hollywood has taken up the cause and even made some movies R rated due to smoking in the film.

But since the government believes it not only has the responsibility of protecting young people from themselves but the ability, why then does it completely ignore the problematic issues related to underage sex.

Why does our government ignore sex-related “illnesses” in young people and just for giggles let’s include pregnancy in that because let’s face it that’s how they see it.

If government had a consistent approach they’d be doing everything they could to prevent unmarried sex because we all end up paying the healthcare costs of young mothers.

In its addictiveness smoking has nothing on sex. Let’s face it, sex is quite addictive and people (especially our youth) must be protected from themselves, right?

What about abstinence PSA’s? If the government believes they can effect young people’s behavior by sitcom stars telling them what to do why not employ the same efforts to curb underage sex?

Why not restrict advertisers from using sex in commercials geared towards young people? How about Hollywood treats underage sex in movies as something undesirable rather than the apotheosis of cool?

Certainly, young people engaging in premarital sex is as least as dangerous to themselves and society as smoking.

So why do we spend so much and try so hard to prevent young people from smoking and then just throw our hands up as a society when it comes to sex saying “Ah, they’re just going to do it anyway?

The government’s reaction of just handing out condoms is like putting filters on cigarettes – and about just as effective.