Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Soviets and Cigarettes

As Americans we read and hear on the news about how the federal government spends and wastes taxpayer dollars, in the millions and billions. The same thing happens in small amounts too but that's never covered in the news. But those small expenditures in the form of federal grants add up.   

The National Institutes of Health (an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) in their mission statement seeks to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability by investing $32 billion yearly in medical research for the good of the American people.

In April, 2015 the NIH awarded a one year grant to University of Arkansas historian Tricia Starks to research and write a book titled Cigarettes and Soviets: The Culture of Tobacco Use in Modern Russia. Ms. Starks is an expert on the subject.  
The relevance of the book as it relates to Americans is that understanding Russia's smoking history will aid the United States in efforts to control tobacco use. (Yes, really.)
Cost to taxpayers: $48,500

I'm no expert on Russian cigarette smoking, but I don't think it's money well spent. I do hope Ms. Starks has success with her book though. What do you think?

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