If you're a smoker I make a few assumptions about you. I assume that you understand there is a risk associated with smoking. I also assume you have made your own personal decision based on the knowledge of those risks and you've made your choice. If you're an adult I am way beyond fine with that. We all do things that may or may not be in our best interest and if you're of the legal age to make the choice then I support your choice.  I also appreciate it when you show consideration for me as a non-smoker. That way we all get along just fine.

My bigger issue with smoking is younger people. As a semi-professional child I know the dangers of peer pressure and the desire to grow up before your time. That's why underage smoking is a concern for me.  In our state it doesn't seem as if as many people share my concern for kids and smoking. At least a new report might lead you to believe that was the case.  But let me be transparent, this survey is based on money spent on education. Hell, our state doesn't like to spend money on kids learning things that could get them jobs.

John Schacter is a spokesperson for Tobacco Free Kids. His organization's mission is to keep kids from getting started with the habit of using tobacco. He says Louisiana only spends about $7 million annually on tobacco prevention programs.

That's not even 12% of what the CDC recommends.

Schacter's remarks were reported by the Louisiana Radio Network. To put that into a better perspective. The tobacco industry spends $31 dollars promoting their products for every $1 our state spends trying to educate people about the dangers of their product.

If you're wondering why our state and our country doesn't ban tobacco sales all together take a look at those dollar amounts again. If big tobacco spends that much on promotion how many dollars in political contributions are they making annually?

So  here's my thought. Why not let parents teach their children about tobacco. The state seems to do a less than admirable job in so many other areas. The last time I checked the state didn't sign on to be a parental replacement. So, Mom, Dad, they are your kids. You know the dangers, you know the risk, but you have the right. I wish you well in your endeavor.