• Cigarette tax saves many lives
    May 03,2013
    • Email Article
    •  
    •  Print Article
     
    I am responding to Matthew Pollock’s May 1 letter, which complains of a proposed increase in tobacco taxes, and the impact of such tax increases on cigarette retailers.

    I can remember, when I was a youth 50 years ago, a pack of cigarettes cost about 25 cents. Many, if not most, of my teenage friends took up smoking. Some, who are still alive, still practice this unhealthy habit. In most cases, to their regret.

    This last weekend, we buried an uncle. He was a smoker much of his life. He loved mentholated cigarettes. He died of lung cancer. Another person close to me, also a lifelong smoker, is now sweating out a spot on her lung. Surgery is chancy, because smoking has also affected her heart.

    While I appreciate Mr. Pollock’s concern for his bottom line, the tax policy on cigarettes is specifically meant to discourage the purchase and use of cigarettes. His complaints indicate that the tax policy is working as intended. The high retail price of cigarettes has discouraged smoking among the present generation of teenagers, simply because it is a habit that they cannot afford to begin.

    Aside from the human cost, the public health cost of cigarettes causes our nation’s health care cost to soar. Because cigarette smoking is more prevalent among lower income groups, much of this cost falls on the general public.

    No pun intended, but cigarettes are a cancer on our society. Anything that can be done to discourage their purchase and use is good public policy.

    RAYMOND MAKUL

    Andover
    • Email Article
    •  
    •  Print Article
    2 Comments
    MORE IN Letters
    I attended Monday evening’s Board of Aldermen meeting, during which Hunter Berryhill, Rutland... Full Story
    Do you remember how we felt after Tropical Storm Irene struck our precious valleys so hard? I do. Full Story
    For nearly 38 years, I had the privilege to work for one of the most important companies in the St. Full Story
    More Articles
  •