Feds Spend Taxpayer Cash To Get Nagging Wives To Deliver Health Messages

Can of tobacco with a hand getting a pinch for use

Most of us thought that paying for a study to determine why adult lesbians are fat was a total waste of cash.  Well, now, along comes news of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study started in 2012 at the Oregon Research Institute for $2 million to get wives to badger their husbands into giving up smokeless tobacco.

“American women don’t need the federal government spending money to get us to nag our husbands to stop using tobacco, we do that just fine on our own,” said Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, a conservative women’s group. “Even if it were a worthwhile effort, we are $18 trillion in debt. We simply can’t afford it.”

Well, there’s that…and the little matter that the practice is pretty gross and can lead to death. (Anyone else thinking Tony Gwynn here?)  The cancer people are more concerned with smoking, but in this case the feds are looking to get women to do their dirty work for them.

Researchers had already “established that women can be readily recruited” to get their husbands to quit chewing tobacco, but now the project is going a step further with a multimedia push that includes a website with an interactive and tailored support plan….

“Research into unhealthy human behaviors that are estimated to be the proximal cause of more than half of the disease burden in the U.S. will continue to be an important area of research supported by NIH,” the NIH said. “Only by developing effective prevention and treatment strategies for health-injuring behaviors can we reduce the disease burden in the U.S. and thus, enhance health and lengthen life, which is the mission of the NIH.”

So, the plan is to get women to bug their husbands until they quit?  Oh, yeah, that’s going to work.

Added Richard Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government, a spending watchdog: “One wonders if NIH has a companion grant program designed to teach dads how to cope with hostile environments in the household.”

There’s something to add to the “Honey Do” list.

Aside from the individual freedom and rights issues of the NIH trying to influence personal behavior, there are other aspects that The Washington Times reports in its Golden Hammer piece that make this effort suspicious (and ripe for the ax).  The state governments collect over $26 BILLION in tobacco taxes and legal settlements every year.  The federal government spends not even $500 million in smoking cessation programs.  Sales of tobacco, smoking and not, have not dropped significantly at all.

“Government interventions to [stop] smoking are well intentioned. The lifelong health risks from smoking are plenty. But the effectiveness of smoking-cessation programs is limited. Yet the government continues to award grants to study the issue, potentially wasting millions in taxpayer dollars,” said Nicole Kaeding, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute think tank.

And there is the rub.  Smoking or dipping are personal choices.  The risks involved are well-documented. The NIH is sending hundreds of millions of dollars down a rat hole trying to get the people to deprive the states of billions in revenue.  And now the feds think it’s a good idea to strain marriages to accomplish this.  Where do these people get these brilliant ideas?


About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.

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