Just how dumb is the new tobacco law? 

Remember that new tobacco regulation bill -- the one written by America's largest tobacco company to kill off its smaller competitors and lock in its majority market share? It bars cigarette companies from using words like "light" and "mild" on their labels.

Well, here's another unlearned-lesson-in-the-making for government do-gooders:

[I]n a move that critics say simply skirts the new rules, tobacco companies plan to use packaging to make those same distinctions: light colors for light cigarettes. So Marlboro Lights, the nation's best-selling brand, from Philip Morris, will be renamed Marlboro Gold, according to a flier the company recently sent to distributors. Likewise, Marlboro Ultra Lights will morph into Marlboro Silver. And anticipating the new rules, R.J. Reynolds has already changed Salem Ultra Lights, which are sold in a silver box, to Silver Box...

So how do you stop people from exploiting obvious loopholes in stupid laws? Why, make more stupid laws, of course:

The Food and Drug Administration has begun a federal review of the color-coding approach—a step that could conceivably lead to further actions against products designated as light.

That probably isn't going to fly, though:

"Colors are really used to identify and differentiate different brand packs," David M. Sylvia, a spokesman for Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris, said Thursday. "We do not use colors to communicate whether one product is less harmful or more harmful than another."

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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