CNN is reporting that nearly $1 million of stimulus funds are being used to give out free blackberry phones to smokers.
Just in case you feel you’re not getting enough quality time with the anti-smoking establishment, the American Legacy Foundation wants to help you keep in touch. The group is reportedly giving nearly $1 million worth of blackberry smartphones out to smokers, free of charge.
The purpose is to give smokers who are trying to quit 24/7 text support and, apparently, "something else to do with their hands".
According to the CNN report, the phones are being distributed to smokers in the Washington, DC area. It’s unclear from the CNN report (link below ) if this money is coming out of MSA funds or if the taxpayers are footing the bill as part of the stimulus. (The reporter mentions that the American Legacy Foundation is funded by the MSA, but he doesn’t say how this giveaway is beiing funded.)
The CNN report contains the usual anti-smoking blather and the reporters justify the giveaway on the grounds that will "reduce healthcare costs" (which it won’t), and then there’s additional commentary from Senator Tom Larkin. Try not to take it too seriously.
It’s difficult to believe this giveaway is even real. Of course, the truth is often stranger than fiction when it comes to anti-tobacco.