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August 23, 2006

Smoking is destructive

Cigarette smokers are addicts. They're not paying three bucks a pack to inhale a product that will harm them because it sounds like a good idea.

Anyone who has witnessed an otherwise intelligent co-worker shaking outside in sub-arctic 30-knot winds trying to light a cigarette should realize the poor soul is hooked. Besides harming themselves, these people may be causing health problems for others because of secondhand smoke.

Discarded butts litter sidewalks and are responsible for thousands of fires annually. Taxpayers finance medical care for health-related problems caused by smoking.

We should apply heavy taxes on this destructive consumer product to offset taxpayer expense.

Phil Swayne
Kansas City



"Smoking is destructive". Really? Who'd a thunk it? That isn't what this letter is about at all.

Heavy taxees have already been "applied". Does anyone remember when the multi-State class action suit was settled? The States got that huge chunk of money to "pay for the health problems of smokers"? What happened to all that money? I seem to remeber the States bragging about how they could cut taxes due to the "windfall". So much for "paying for the health problems of smokers".

The price of cigarettes were raised dramatically then so that the smokers "would be paying for the problems they created". And most States raised their cigarette taxes at the same time so that the price would stay up and the "smokers penalty" would be ongoing.

Where did all that money go? Was it spent on anti-smoking campaigns? Or health care for smokers? Or anything to do with smoking? Almost none of it.

What virtually all of that money, and the additional tax money since then, was spent on was "relieving the tax burden" of everyone. Ain't that nice?

Of course, now all the people who have benefited from this windfall are saying, "Let's raise the tax on cigarettes so that smokers will pay for the burdon they place on society." What B.S.

If that was the desire, the "windfall" of the tobacco settlement would be in a special fund to do just that. Most that are proposing the increase in tobacco taxes are just trying to go to the well again in the name of saving themselves some more money.

"Sin taxes" are such fun. It is the only time that most people get to raise taxes on some one else and simultaneously claim they are "doing it for the good" of the sinner.

Pure B.S. It is just a "let's raise a tax that I don't have to pay" game. If it wasn't, the same people would be proposing higher taxes on all alcohol products, candy (especially chocolate) and any other item that causes harm. But then, the people wanting to "help" smokers would have to pay those taxes. Wouldn't they?

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