A bill proposed in the Oregon legislature would make cigarettes available only by prescription. They would also be a Schedule III controlled substance, in the came class as drugs such as Vicodin. The Representative proposing this realizes this is not going to happen, but is trying to make a point in the hopes of reducing cigarette use.
It doesn’t really matter as this is not a bill anyone expects to pass, but I couldn’t help but consider the implications of requiring that cigarettes be prescribed as a controlled substance. While other Schedule III drugs might have risks and, like tobacco, can be addictive, cigarettes are unique. Cigarettes would probably be the only drug which, when used as prescribed, are very likely to kill their users, and have minimal benefits which might offset the risk. I don’t see how any physician could justify writing a prescription for cigarettes in such a situation. Perhaps they might be prescribed to handle addiction to cigarettes, but I couldn’t legally order Vicodin on a regular basis for somebody who has no medical indications for the drug in order to handle their addiction. What possible medical indications would there be for prescribing cigarettes?