I just received a mailer urging a “no” vote on Proposition 56 and the reasons given are disturbing. Just who should a cigarette tax go to? It should go to health insurance companies who are footing the bills for all the smoking-related illnesses. Why should a tax on cigarettes fund schools, fix roads or fight crime?
It should go to pay for all the misery and illness caused by smoking and, perhaps, clean up the all the butts left everywhere by smokers.
As for the claim that it disproportionally effects the poor, it only affects those who smoke. Maybe all that money now spent on cigarettes will be spent on taking care of families and children.
The hope is that the increased price will deter someone from starting such a destructive habit. The schools aleady are ensured 43 percent of new taxes; they aren’t being “cheated” out of anything.
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Smoking-related illnesses are a pressing problem, and I hope this increased tax will pay for a small portion of the burden related to medical care of those who choose to abuse their health.
Mary Orton, Sanger