I'm not going to comment on the nicotine taxes bc that's a complicated convo about which I have conflicting views. That said, re: the twitter commentary (not the policy), it always saddens me when liberal &/or progressive people take a stigmatizing or judgmental view of addiction
Nicotine addiction is legitimately very hard to kick. It requires major rewiring of the brain. Addiction also correlates w/ mental health and socioeconomic status. Many smokers self-medicate. The tools we have to fight nicotine addiction are hard to access for many.
Now, you can certainly be mad if someone chooses to exercise their addiction in a way that imports personal cost to you: littering; smoking in public, etc. But that doesn't mean you have to shame the addiction overall, ignore the forces that drive it, or be glib about recovery
Stigmatization does not help recovery. In fact, it's a barrier. This is true for all addictions. We should judge behavior that imports the cost of addiction on others, such as smoking in public spaces or drunk driving. That's different than stigmatizing the addiction itself.
My position as a liberal is to be sympathetic to circumstances people do not choose. No one chooses to be addicted to anything. And addiction is correlated with other vulnerabilities. Recovery is often costly. Judge people if they smoke on you. But don’t judge them for addiction.

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More from @magi_jay

16 Sep
In my new piece for @johnastoehr, I write about the most subtle & pernicious form of anti-vaxx propaganda: the manipulation of scientific information & the appropriation of scientific authority editorialboard.com/to-fight-vacci…
Case #1: Anti-vaxxers have latched onto a preprint wherein the authors report results suggesting "natural immunity" is more robust than vaccine-induced immunity. Anti-vaxxers are now arguing this scientific evidence entails it is *preferable* to become naturally immune Image
Conservatives have reported on "natural immunity" without stipulating all of the risks of contracting COVID. They are using natural immunity to argue against mandates, as well as to claim Democrats are the real enemies of science. Searches for "natural immunity" have sky-rocketed ImageImageImageImage
Read 16 tweets
15 Sep
This single clause in the Harper's Letter captures the attitude that drives so much political commentary. Because authoritarianism is expected of the GOP, it is no longer of empirical interest. It doesn't grab one's attention. This dangerously entrenches the behavior as "normal"
Think about how much as changed in just the past few years. In 2015, Trump's demagogic rhetoric was viewed as so abnormal, it received a full write-up in The NY Times. The press was aflame when it seemed he might not accept the results of the 2016 election time.com/4538700/electi…
Now, Larry Elder cited voter fraud before the California recall election even happened and we barely react. The Senate GOP is attempting to "audit" the 2020 results in PA by accessing every voter's info & we're like, "typical."
Read 6 tweets
15 Sep
Per the NYT's latest count:
64% voted "No" (for Newsom)
36% voted "Yes" (for recall)
On Q2, "Who should replace Newsom?," many left their ballots blank.
For the filled-in ballots, Elder received 47% against 45 other candidates.
I would not call that a resounding victory
So, there's no real evidence for the claim that Elder did well. He did not do well. He did terribly. That aside, I'm a bit concerned that none of these headlines mention the fact that Elder tried to undermine the results of the election before it had even occurred.
It used to be, back in 2016 and before, that a person trying to undermine the results of the democratic process was treated as a huge deal. Now, Republicans have done it so many times that we think it is normal? This is rather disturbing.
Read 4 tweets
13 Sep
The thing that bugs me the most about this is that people think they're saying something really profound about an Orwellian turn in our society when, really, Public Health has been operating in a strict fashion for generations, which could be revealed by a quick google search
Has it occurred to anyone to say, "Huh, I wonder what happens w/ HIV?" If you asked that simple Q, you would find that HIV patients are often subject to legal measures, including contact investigations &, in many states, criminalization of non-disclosure to sexual partners
In my case of TB, the mandated treatment + contact investigation was traumatic. I still feel the ethical balance comes out in favor of the gov't protocol. HIV poses much deeper ethical problems, even in cases of non-criminalization.
Read 6 tweets
13 Sep
You guys keep writing these ten tweet threads and I keep telling you to just look up how Tuberculosis has been treated in this country. You can disagree with the practice, but stop pretending it's new. And also stop pretending it hasn't been effective at keeping you safe.
Me: "I was under threat of going to jail if I didn't take toxic meds for 7 months under the constant surveillance of the government. Sometimes they made me go into a chamber & choke until I gave a good bio sample"

You: "A mandate for a vaccine? What does this mean for society?"
And I'm not complaining. I'm glad they made me take meds I hated for 7 months and watched me every day and made me choke into a jar. That's why we don't have to worry about drug-resistant TB. Which is good. I get mad when people act like any of this is new.
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep
Anti-Boomer discourse is bad because it is ageist, erases Black, brown, & LGBTQ boomers, & obscures the fact that the real divides are less generational than they are racial & linked to education & region. Young white people also vote for Republicans. Older Black voters vote Dem.
The ageism probably particularly harms older women, who already experience unfairly diminished social value as they age. Also elder depression & suicide is a real thing. It's not progressive to contribute to ageism. And it's bad analysis that obscures systemic racism!!
Also there is immense economic inequality w/in the Boomer generation. Those who have wealth will be passing it on to their GenX/Millennial kids who will eventually have the social & economic power, especially if they're white. So we're obscuring these dynamics too.
Read 4 tweets

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