Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Monday, March 06, 2006

Daily Rant

Does increasing the tax on cigarettes and tobacco really have the desired effect of convincing people to quit or does it instead punish the poor for being addicted to a legal drug? Tobacco in any form is bad for you, in fact it is the only think sold in this country that if used properly is actually bad for your health. Alcohol if used properly is not bad for you; in fact some studies say that small amounts of certain types of alcohol are good for you. Fast food is not the healthiest form of nourishment but if consumed in moderation is not bad for your health. Even a gun when used properly does not kill or injure a single person. And yet, we sell tobacco and more and more people start using it every year. The problem is that those who use it are often from the lower class that already typically makes less money. But, we keep increasing the prices of cigarettes by increasing the taxes on them. The price of cigarettes is so high in some places that the mafia now runs cigarettes from states with lower cigarette taxes to states with higher taxes. I wouldn’t advocate someone to start smoking nor can I fathom a reasonable person who would argue that cigarette smoking is good for them; no one has ever run a marathon and then decided they wanted a cigarette. But, why are those who smoke being punished by high taxes? It is not getting people to quit it only takes more money out of their pockets that they don’t have because the government needs more money so that is can waste more.
Cigarettes are sold in grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores and in cigarette outlets, they are advertised in magazines, and we still see the “cool” people in movies smoking. Raising the taxes or putting giant warning labels on the pack is not going to get people to quit. Cigarettes in Europe can cost more than double what they do in America and they cover the front of the pack with a warning label, and not warnings about emphysema or about pregnant mothers, but a typical warning of SMOKING KILLS in big bold letters, and yet people still smoke everywhere in Europe. Entire countries like Ireland and Italy have banned smoking in all public buildings including bars, hotels, and restaurants, and yet they keep smoking.
Increasing the prices will not work. Warning labels will not work, I have seen a brand of cigarettes in a black pack with a skull on the front called Black Death and people still bought them.
Increasing the taxes and prices on cigarettes does not get people to quit it only takes money away from those who need it the most.
-Publius

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you alluded to, raising taxes also impacts a state's ability to compete economically with others. New York, Massechusttes and Maine have state taxes per pack nearly as expensive as single packs in Virginia and North Carolina.

Also, I love bars that voluntarily ban smoking, but I am glad the mandatory proposal got shot down in the Gen. Assembly this year...let restaurant owners deceide for themselves.

Tue Mar 07, 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

I know that second-hand smoke is bad, think of it this way, with first-hand smoke you at least have a filter, but I do not think the government should do an across the board ban on smoking. If a bar or restaurant wants to ban smoking they should have that right but the government should not force them to do so. And for those who don’t voluntarily ban smoking because they say it will cut down on business, I would point to all the fast-food chains that once allowed smoking and no longer do; I don’t see people not going into these places anymore. At the same time I have been to bars/clubs that have banned smoking while other bars on the same street allow smoking and yet I have gone to those that ban it and they still are packed and make a profit. The government wants to tell people where and when they can smoke but still make a profit on those who do it. It’s like putting up a sing for free candy and then telling people they can have it but they can’t eat it.

Tue Mar 07, 02:37:00 PM  

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