I find it amazing that there are so many things for me to complain about these days …
More and more often I find myself at odds with what’s going on in the world. It’s probably just the hard-won wisdom I’ve accrued through the years really paying off.
Anyway, my latest complaint is with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent announcement that it plans to ban menthol cigarettes and mass produced flavored cigars.
Now, you’re not going to find me in a Newport ad or anything …
But the government always seems to think it can take care of us and make better decisions for us than we can for ourselves.
This, folks, is called the Nanny State.
Under the previous administration, the U.S. was set up to move away from this model.
Now? Well, those trillions of dollars in spending everyone is buzzing about will come with strings attached.
Historically, we Americans have all been about “live and let live” and loving our personal freedoms. (There’s a Country song in there somewhere).
In my opinion, as long as we know the dangers, we should be able to make our own choices on the VAST majority of issues.
Two things came to mind when I first heard the menthol news:
- How about the youths — and JUUL targeting them with flavored vaping products?
- Don’t cities hand out syringes for drug addicts to safely continue to inject?
How do these things reconcile?
I’m not going to get into the syringe/addiction/homelessness issue that has exploded in recent years. It’s just too much.
But I do have firsthand experience with menthol cigarettes and teenage vaping.
As a teenager, most of my peers smoked cigarettes. The girls’ favorite was Virginia Slim Menthol Lights — because we were cool.
My high school of 4,000 had smoking areas — for students!!
I was never brave enough to do that, though. My girlfriends and I were more closet smokers.
Of course we knew it was bad. But we loved it.
I was always getting grounded when my parents could smell the cigarettes on my breath — even past the huge wad of gum I was trying to mask the scent with.
Despite getting grounded countless times, I would still go out and smoke with my friends.
As for teenage vaping, nowadays they have a ton of options with all the flavors JUUL aims directly at the young crowd. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a JUUL truck roll into the neighborhood one day blaring “The Entertainer” and dispersing fruity treats to a mob of clamoring kids.
E-cigarettes’ initial claim was to help people quit smoking. Now they’ve become a gateway to the real thing.
The good news is it looks like the numbers are going down (on their own!):
The other good news is that parents now have much more sophisticated ways of catching our kids vaping. We have all kinds of tests available to purchase online to check our kids urine for nicotine and some drugs.
My folks would have loved that!!
WARNING: END OF RANT
OK, you didn’t come here for an angry mom blog, and much like that first puff of a Virginia Slim, I’m here to deliver the goods
After all my gear grinding, check out my trade idea in Philip Morris (Ticker: PM) …
Check out the PM daily stock chart for the past three months:
I believe Friday’s candlestick could be a hanging man. I will wait for the confirmation this morning looking for an opening price lower than $95.
If PM opens lower and trades lower, I would like to buy the May21 95 puts and pay less than $1.60.
There aren’t any juicy puts to sell against these — the 90 puts are only $.35 — so I will buy them outright.
If these puts trade down to a dollar, I will take my loss.
I would like to take profits $2.50 and higher.
No Smoking OR Vaping Please … but I wouldn’t mind this trade lighting up.
Thanks for Reading … See You Next Tuesday!