Third Party & Independents Archives

Unconstitutional??

Smoker’s tax.
There has got to be a way to prove this tax unconstitutional.

Where does OUR government get off targeting a certain group of Americans like they have smokers?
There are fewer smokers than non-smokers - is that how they get away with it?
Anyone who smokes is treated like they have the plague?
Last I checked buying cigarettes is NOT ILLEGAL.
Our governments around the nation are not only making it illegal to smoke practically EVERYWHERE, they are taxing smokers to 'death'.

I am not one of those 'rude' smokers.
I will never light up in another person's house without their permission.
Even when outside - if I see the breeze is blowing my smoke into someone else's face - I move or put it out.

What the hell more do people want?

Now the government wants me to pay a tax on my cigarettes that they will use to pay for healthcare for the poor?
How is that going to work?
Our state government raised the cigarette tax at the first of the month - another 45 cents per pack. We smokers are now paying more in tax than the cigarettes cost!!
The money that is supposed to go in a fund to pay for my dying days is already being spent on other things. That is why they raised it again.

It's easy to raise taxes on smokers, gamblers, travelers, anything we like to do.
Sin tax - what a joke.

How is any of this constitutional? Targeting a specific group with a tax?

If the government wants more money for healthcare - it would be fair to charge a tax or monthly fee on everyone's medical insurance premium.
Smoker's already pay more in healthcare premiums for their unhealthy, bad habit.
Why should the government be allowed to make us pay more taxes to cover healthcare for those without insurance??

Posted by Dawn at July 15, 2007 1:05 AM
Comments
Comment #226390

Dawn,

Interesting post—I am not a smoker, and I don’t mean to be unsympathetic (contrary to what some others here might say—LOL) but I would wager that the preventable morbidity that smoking poses to even non-smokers is what is driving this tax.

Remember Dana Reeve, Superman’s wife, she died of lung cancer and she was NOT a smoker. Not all smokers are as courteous as you seem to be. I abhor smoking so a tax of this nature does not affect me the way it does you—politically or financially.

Nonetheless, I do see your point, because another preventable condition that comes with just as many morbid health risks as smoking is our other scourge—obesity. I would be pretty damn mad if I had to pay a tax based on how much I eat (or worse, how much I weigh), even if the money was going toward something I could support—better healthcare for the poor.

I think your argument underscores the need to make quality healthcare available to all Americans. You never know, an obesity tax may well soon follow—and don’t think that gouging insurance industry won’t be banging that drum in the future.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 15, 2007 3:12 AM
Comment #226392

Dawn, agian I love it. Make them illegal or shut up, either way I’d be happier than this crap. The government is turning us into a society of bitching neighbors(liberals) for these taxes, why can’t we all take care of ourselves and butt out of others business? I hate most taxes, thier an insult to my intelligence (not much..but still), what about property tax it’s an illegal tax can it be fought also?

Posted by: andy at July 15, 2007 3:54 AM
Comment #226393

So then they should be illegal not a government moneymaker Kim-Sue. And I, personally, don’t remember Dana Reeve, a lot of people have lived and died, was she an anti-smoking activist? On your last point didn’t New York make some cooking oil illegal recently? Whats that, do I hear socialism?

Posted by: andy at July 15, 2007 4:06 AM
Comment #226401

I have been wondering that myself for years how they get away with it. I know in Pa they have sold it as “a way to keep minors from smoking” since its harder fort hem to round up the cash for a pack.. in theory. But like Kim-Sue mentioned, Many persons would be upset if twinkies and vegatable oil started gettign sin taxed also, or 2 few bucks added onto one’s McDonalds order.

Of course though the one that will make even more persons unhappy would be to dump a sin tax on gasoline, since we are all portrayed as bad people for using it. Myself i live in a rural/country area…..ppl drive 15-30 miles a day one way to work, Hell theres not even a Wal-Mart within 15 miles. I do expect though that Fuel will be taking in a punishemnt tax within the near future.

Posted by: RHancheck at July 15, 2007 9:10 AM
Comment #226403

Andy said

So then they should be illegal not a government moneymaker Kim-Sue.


Where did I so much as imply (directly or indirectly) that cigarettes should be a money maker for the government?

Dana Reeve is best known (probably) for being the wife of Christopher Reeve. She was not an anti-smoking zealot to my knowledge, but here death last year at age 45 was a direct consequence of the environmental exposure to second hand smoke.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 15, 2007 9:24 AM
Comment #226407

I have never smooked and hate this vile habit, but I do feel sorry for oppressed smokers. They are one of the few groups PC doesn’t protect. A serial killer will be accepted into liberal good graces - if he can frame himself as appropriately oppressed - as long as he doesn’t light up.

Re taxes - the government can tax whatever it wants. That is the big power of government. They are taxing cigarettes. They are not taxing smokers, who have the option of changing their habits if they do not like paying the tax.

From the cynical point of view, us non-smokers should thank those smokers. Not only do they pay more taxes, but they die sooner and will not create as much a SS burden. Your choice.

Posted by: Jack at July 15, 2007 10:23 AM
Comment #226412

Jack, since you believe smokers can simply choose another activity, is it safe to assume you believe we should legalize all addicting drugs and simply tax them to dissuade people from using them?

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 15, 2007 11:39 AM
Comment #226415

Dawn, I agree its a bad way to pay for health cate unfortunately until we get universal health care nationwide I think we can expect to see much more of this type of bandaid approach to fixing the real problem.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2007 11:44 AM
Comment #226416

Dawn, I know of several places on the internet where cigarettes may be purchased for $1 a pack. 10’s to 100’s of thousands of smokers are bypassing the state taxes via this route. Shhh…. don’t advertise this though. Soon as most smokers get hip, the politicians will conspire to make selling cigarettes over the internet an illegal activity. So, much for free enterprise. OoopS! Come to think of it, many politicians are working to do this as I type.

The internet is the great democratizer. The internet is rapidly becoming government’s worst nightmare. Smut, bad language, bomb making how to’s, armed groups and associations conducting organizational business over the internet, rapid dissemination of news the government would squash were it not for the rapid transmission rate of the internet like U-Tube, etc. Make no mistake, the internet taxation authority is being fought for fiercely by many special interests. Too much freedom to too many people. It must be controlled, taxed, monitored, and outlawed for many of its current uses. If none of this convinces you the internet is a great danger, consider government’s often dusted off refrain, al-Queda uses the internet.

I mean if freedom is such a threat, why do we even talk about democracy, Constitutional liberties, and spreading them around the globe. Is this not the height of hypocrisy?

:-(

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 15, 2007 11:50 AM
Comment #226423

Dawn,

I’m a non-smoker and I’ve never known why anyone would care to smoke, but that’s beside the point.

Common sense tells me that if any item is badly enough overtaxed a “black market” will be created, resulting in the need for greater enforcement which inevitably will result in more expense that will be passed along to ALL taxpayers.

Can anyone else picture a BATF office in every County courthouse?

Posted by: KansasDem at July 15, 2007 1:05 PM
Comment #226426

Setting aside the political issue for a moment —

I am a smoker and have struggled with quitting. (As Mark Twain said, “Quitting smoking is easy; I’ve done it a thousand times.”) I have no personal problem with high cigarette taxes because I think if cigs were cheaper, I would probably smoke more of them.

I have no problem with people saying it is a disgusting, filthy habit because, well, it is. Cigs suck.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 15, 2007 1:14 PM
Comment #226427

KD your exactly right. I find it amazing the things we as a country do sometimes to save or raise money just to get out of doing the right thing. Usually in the long run it winds up costing more.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2007 1:16 PM
Comment #226428

I went from 2 1/2 to 3 packs a day to 0. I just got sick of paying a ridiculous price for cigarettes. Personally I don’t care of anyone smokes. What I really think should be taxed to the max is alcholic beverages, they seem to do more damage to people that smoking does.

Posted by: KAP at July 15, 2007 1:19 PM
Comment #226434

KAP, might as well add sugar, gambling and talk radio to the list if we want sin taxes to pay for our health care system.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2007 1:43 PM
Comment #226436

As for cigs and Alchol, Tax it as much as you want, it all comes down to the fact that it is a LUXURY Tax. No one needs these things, they have little or no helpful properties and in the long run are bad for you.
Hell we tax Boats, that is a luxury tax who needs a boat. We should stop bemoaning these taxes that we have a personal choice to pay. You can quite if you want to. The thing is you have to want to.
Hell go ahead and tax candy, I eat plenty of it (6% body fat) and would cut back on some of my poor eating habits. Make greens and fruit more affordable. Why do we complain about our tax load when you look and see what we actually get for our tax dollars,
1. One of the finest Militaries in the world (assuming bush doesn’t dick them over much longer)
2. Wide open lands that we can go out and enjoy.
3. One of the strongest econimies (sp) in the world, that just seems to shrug off bad news and keep chugging ahead (I expected a recession starting about a year to a year and a half ago).
4. Some of the brightest minds in the world (either home grown or imported).
Looking at all we have verses what we pay we get a pretty good bang for our buck. Could it be more efficient, YES, no Hell Yes. Could we make smarter choices on what we invest our money in (again Hell Yes). On the whole we are well off verses what we pay in taxes and what we recieve.
In closing Dawn quit maoning about a Luxury tax you CHOOSE to pay. I love it when the government taxes things that we can choose to buy, it makes it so we get to choose how much our tax load is going to be.

Posted by: timesend at July 15, 2007 1:56 PM
Comment #226437

j2t2
Might as well I don’t eat many sweets, don’t gamble, and don’t listen to talk radio. Now if you add TV might have a problem.

Posted by: KAP at July 15, 2007 2:00 PM
Comment #226444

Tobacco, alcohol, and gambling are fair game for taxation by the government. Most folks that don’t do any of these don’t care how much tax is placed on those that do. That’s why federal, state, and local governments, get away with taxing folks that participate in these activities.
I believe that all these taxes are unconstitutional as they target particular groups of people.
I haven’t smoked in 37 years, and even when I did I’d tell, and still tell folks, specially kids, they’re better of not smoking. But until tobacco is outlawed every over 18 is free to smoke if they choose. And taxing them for that choice is just flat wrong.

BTW, One of many reasons I quit smoking was because I went to the BX one day to get a pack of cigarettes and they’d raised the price from 21 cent a pack to 23 cent a pack and I wasn’t gonna pay the outrageous price.
Better reasons for my quitting.
My wife is allergic to smoke.
She was carrying our son and I didn’t want to set a bad example for my youngins.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 15, 2007 2:47 PM
Comment #226446
Might as well I don’t eat many sweets, don’t gamble, and don’t listen to talk radio. Now if you add TV might have a problem.

Of course, by the time the government gets to TV, the ones that you didn’t stand up for will say it’s your turn to pay…

Or, people could learn what PRINCIPLE stands for and stand up for other people’s rights even if it doesn’t directly affect them. *THAT* is how the government gets away with it, the typical US citizen is only worried about how things affect them personally and no longer care about their fellow man. Isn’t that what they pay taxes for anyway?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 15, 2007 3:21 PM
Comment #226447
A serial killer will be accepted into liberal good graces - if he can frame himself as appropriately oppressed - as long as he doesn’t light up.

And a person convicted of obstruction of justice in order to deflect the investigation of treasonous acts perpetrated by a Republican Administration will be accepted and be protected by the right wing. His sentence will be commutated, and he can even light up as much as he wants without prejudice.

The top quote was unnecessary for this discussion. It only serves to discredit the credibility of the speaker and inspires me to respond in kind.

I agree with you Dawn, it is unfair to target a specific minority group, only because the majority finds the actions of the minority distasteful. While I believe there should be more taxes on cigarettes and other restrictions due to the burden on society cigarettes bring. There is a limit to what extent the majority should be allowed to tax cigarettes.

Recently there was an initiative that narrowly did not pass here in California, which would have increased significantly the tax on cigarettes. A person requesting signatures for this initiative approached an elderly woman and me and asked for our help. I declined, and the elderly woman accused me of being a smoker. I assured her I wasn’t, and I told her that it seemed unfair to continuously target cigarette smokers. She said since she was a non-smoker, she was going to add her signature for the initiative.

The initiative was supposed create more tax revenue for the health care. I told the woman in a polite tone, perhaps we should also tax the elderly. They also belong to a minority and they place a disproportionate burden upon health care in California. By her reaction I don’t believe she agreed with me.

Posted by: Cube at July 15, 2007 3:28 PM
Comment #226449

Rhinehold
I didn’t like the taxes no more when I was a smoker than they do now nor do I like the sin taxes period. The comment I made was in a joking manner. As far as taxes are concerned we pay to much, and it is time we held our reps accountable for their mismanagement.

Posted by: KAP at July 15, 2007 3:49 PM
Comment #226458

I can’t believe what I’m seeing on this site. Tax Smokers? Are you Nuts? It’s a proven fact that obesity causes more deaths than any other single issue in our country today. Source: American Heart Ass.
With that in mind consider the follwing. I’m 6’2” tall and have a 33” waist. I’m at my ideal weight according to my doctors body fat metrix.
My proposal is this. Anyone with an Ass in excess of 36” in girth should be taxed. It makes as much sense as what you’re saying about smokers. Once again we have demonstrated we are not a free country. We have yet to master the art of “Leaving each other alone.”

Posted by: Ken at July 15, 2007 5:02 PM
Comment #226464

timesend, that is just a wonderful philosophy. Tax the law abiding folks on their addicted “luxuries”, but, keep heroine, cocaine, and meth illegal and out of reach of the taxers - takers! Just brilliant.

At least try to be consistent and advocate for legalizing all substances to be consumed and tax them all. But, to punish the legal consumers while millions of illegal consumers each year go untouched just makes no sense to me.

Also, beware the trap of thinking the government should be in the business of taxing whatever IT believes citizens SHOULD NOT HAVE! That is a very, very dangerous and flawed concept. But, if you want to go down that road, then you have nothing to gripe about when Democrats impose a %1000 tax on all firearms sales, do you?

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 15, 2007 6:06 PM
Comment #226466

A one week recipe for quitting smoking:

I used it, it works and is pretty painless providing you can go without coffee or alcohol during this time. Several of us successfully used this method at the same time. I have been smoke free for about thirty years now.

1.For seven days no coffee, alcohol, soft drinks or spicy foods allowed.

2. Drink 16oz of water or fruit juice every awake hour of the day for 3 days. This helps to quickly cleanse the system of cigarette related poisons. The claim was that your system should be purged after 3 days.

I also chewed lots of gum during the week. I think the biggest asset was the liquid consumption. I can honestly say that after three days I no longer had withdrawal symptoms of any kind. It is also a good idea to stay away from the bars during this first week. Basically stay away from things that give you the urge to smoke. Of course a deep desire to really quit is also very helpful.

Posted by: Ildem at July 15, 2007 6:16 PM
Comment #226473

David,
Your responce to my post is taken a little out of context. I would be disapointed with a 1000% increase in the tax on firearms; however that would still make firearms a very smart investment still.
The making of drugs illegial doesn’t work, didn’t work, won’t work and can’t work. You actually hit my stance on illegial drugs very sucicently, leagalize it and tax the dog crap out of it. This would reduce our costs of the DEA, National Gaurd and allow more flexiblitity to the FBI to go after stuff that is much more important. Hell they made it so you have to have a perscription to get Psuedifed here in OR, guess what the drug makers just go to CA, WA, NV or ID to get the drugs, just like I now buy my Pseudifed in CA because it is cheaper for me to stop by a drug store while visiting family in CA then getting the Perscription and pay my co-pay.
I still like the idea of a luxury tax, it makes it so if you want the product you pay the tax. If you cant stomache the tax you don’t buy it. If you really don’t want to pay a tax in this country than all you have to do is start a buisness and you can get around almost any tax in the system. On the whole I have no issue with a sin tax, I do think that you should not raise it a 1000% at a shot but you could raise it 100% each year over 10 years to get to the same point.

Posted by: timesend at July 15, 2007 7:01 PM
Comment #226478

Hey if you want to smoke go ahead, of course if it requires some taxes so that they can pay for your medical bills I am all for it.
I am tired as a non-smoker having to smell it during dinner even in the non-smoking sections. To smell your smoke breath, but worse is to pay thru my taxes your medical care when you get cancer and blame the tobacco companies.
Go ahead and smoke but don’t come crying to us non-smokers and the majority to take care of you when you know what you were doing could and will kill you in the end.

Posted by: KT at July 15, 2007 8:33 PM
Comment #226479

“How is any of this constitutional? Targeting a specific group with a tax?”
From Dawn’s original post


Dawn,

You bring up a good point. I always was skeptical of Clinton’s so-called targeted taxes.

What right does the government have to specifically target certain groups of people, taxing them above everyone else? The constitutionality of this certainly ought to be questioned.
You mention cigarette smokers, but how about those who simply make more money than others? What right does Congress have to impose stricter tax policies upon them, therefore discriminating against them based upon social status. I believe that social status should be the next protected class of people placed upon the anti-discrimination laws in the United States. If the government was not allowed to be so bigoted in their taxation policies against certain classes of people, playing them against each other, maybe Americans would be less bigoted one toward another.
But, getting back to your cigarette issue. I knew this was going to someday become a big deal in politics way back when Reagan was in office. I had just graduated high school and my mother and my aunt was into the “genealogy fad” of that era. Some family was coming up from Florida and were stopping by for information on distant relatives. My mother, aunt, and their two so-called family friends gathered in the living room where I was watching TV upon their arrival. After about ten minutes of “genealogy talk” my aunt who was a chain smoker pulled out a pack of cigarettes and started to light up. I kid you not, as soon as the two Floridians saw the unlit cigarette, they began coughing as though my aunt had blown smoke in their faces. It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen.
My mother never let us smoke and none of us kids ever smoked in our lives. But, I thought these two so-called ladies were the most rude, obnoxious, and insensitive women I had ever had the displeasure of meeting based upon the way they had treated my aunt. My aunt only smoked one cigarette, the room was over 20’ X 16’ and well-ventilated, yet these women gagged the whole time while my aunt held the cigarette behind her back as she talked to them. Finally, she got the hint and put it out.
As a young kid, I sat there in utter amazement at the ridiculousness of these two ladies. Even as a kid, I was so pissed at the way my aunt had been treated. I’m glad my mother never invited them back!!! These are the kinds of people you are up against Dawn. Good Luck!!!

JD

Posted by: JD at July 15, 2007 8:40 PM
Comment #226482

timesend,

‘In closing Dawn quit maoning about a Luxury tax you CHOOSE to pay. I love it when the government taxes things that we can choose to buy, it makes it so we get to choose how much our tax load is going to be.’

Quit moaning and accept what you propose?
A government that chooses for us what to do with our lives by taxing us out of things?
You will not stop eating so much candy until the government puts outrageous taxes on it?

Name one thing that we HAVE to purchase.
You propose a tax sytem based on the what?
Put a higher tax on beef than fish because fish is healthier?
Put no tax on corn on the cob but slap a tax on the butter & salt you put on them?

Exactly where does it say that our government can place a random tax on anything that is considered a ‘luxury’?

Just about any tax would be acceptable to most of us - IF WE KNEW THE MONEY WAS NOT WASTED & WAS ACTUALLY SPENT ON WHAT IT WAS MEANT FOR TO BEGIN WITH.
I should be able to go to my doctor for help to quit smoking and bill my state - the money is supposed to be there to help with health problems caused by smoking - no one has offered to use the money to help us quit smoking.
And where did all the money go that the tobacco co’s were fined?

I take it you have never smoked.
The law suits against the tobacco co’s proved that they inject substances that keep people addicted to their cigarettes - yet smokers continue to be told that they should just stop doing it - usually from people who managed to never begin.

I don’t recall the story of Dana Reeve’s lung cancer ever including 2nd hand smoke.

Posted by: Dawn at July 15, 2007 8:56 PM
Comment #226484

Timesend,

I can see in your writting that you study a considerable amount of history, particularly that of King George III, as your thinking is parallel to his.

Posted by: Ken at July 15, 2007 9:03 PM
Comment #226485

KT,
‘To smell your smoke breath, but worse is to pay thru my taxes your medical care when you get cancer and blame the tobacco companies.’

You must have one sensitive snout if you can smell my breath.

Since I have medical insurance, in which I pay a higher premium for due to my nasty habit, I don’t imagine you have to worry about your taxes going towards any of my medical bills.
I don’t need to blame the tobacco companies - others have already taken care of that.

Where is your glass house anyway?

Posted by: Dawn at July 15, 2007 9:03 PM
Comment #226492

KT, the governments ripped you and all of us off. The state governments sued the tobacco companies and won billions. Hardly a cent of that windfall to the state governments was ever spent on smoking cessation programs, or Medicare. It was earmarked for roads, legislative pay raises, and a host of other non-medical governmental operations.

Don’t blame the smokers for the suits. If the governments spend just 70% of their tobacco windfalls on smoker cessation clinics and assistance, there would be millions less smokers today. What you have to realize is that millions of current smokers would like to be non-smokers. If they are uninsured however, they can’t afford assistance in breaking their addiction. If they are insured, they can get help with nicotine tablets or patches, which just feed the addiction by a different delivery mechanism. (One of the great shams of the pharmaceutical industry, like treating heroine injection users with heroine snorting instead.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 15, 2007 9:51 PM
Comment #226496
but worse is to pay thru my taxes your medical care when you get cancer and blame the tobacco companies.

Why should you have to pay with taxes for SOMEONE ELSE’S medical care?

Oh yeah, someone is trying to invent a right to health care paid for by someone else. The ‘get something from someone else’ syndrome that more than anything else is ruining the American way of life.

If I choose to smoke and it causes me to have large medical bills, then I should be required to pay for them. Simple. Why should someone else have to pay for my medical bills?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 15, 2007 10:27 PM
Comment #226502

Rhinehold, Or we could stay in the same sorry mess with health care and you can pay a higher premium and I can pay a litte lower premium and when it comes time to treat your cancer they can tell you no and your screwed. Or you could loose your insurance due to the cancer and not be able to pay. Or we could all pitch together in a universal health plan and you could be treated without losing everything you own. Thats a get something from someone else plan I dont think is all that bad..

Posted by: j2t2 at July 16, 2007 12:32 AM
Comment #226513

j2t2,

There is a higher cost than money when you start allowing the government to force behavior on you.

And you are making the assumption that the only solutions are to stay the way we are (increased health care costs because of government intrusion) or go to a single-payer universal healthcare plan paid for by taxes.

Don’t you think that we are smart enough to find a better way? One that doesn’t cause a family to be decimated because of unforseen medical issues yet doesn’t allow the government to dictate all kinds of behavior they normally wouldn’t just because there is a financial interest to do so?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 16, 2007 7:48 AM
Comment #226514

Why would a tax on cigarettes be any less “constitutional” than a tax on gasoline???

Posted by: Rachel at July 16, 2007 8:18 AM
Comment #226516

Rhinehold,
Evidentally we are not that smart, or if we are we are a lot slower at implementing this smart idea than we are smart. In fact according to yahoo news we are losing the height battle with most developed countries due to our poor nutrition habits and our poor health care system. The free market approach just doesnt seem to work for health care.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 16, 2007 9:29 AM
Comment #226517

j2t2,

We haven’t had a ‘free market’ health care system for quite some time. Once regulated HMOs came into being, and people didn’t have to be concerned about their own health or the cost associated with their unhealthy behaviors, there was no chance. Most doctors spend over half of their time filling out forms and covering their asses against malpractice suits, driving up the costs of healthcare, adding in the increasing number of illegal immigrants we end up paying through higher costs at the doctor’s office, we are already seeing the end result of what a one payer system would be. That I can’t choose my healthcare provider on my own if I work for a company that provides healthcare if I think that the rates are too high or I could get a better rate because of my heathly lifestyle over the group who is more than likely not as healthy makes sure that the costs never go down no matter what I do. Where is the incentive? Where is the reason to try to be healthy?

How, exactly, will more government control in healthcare help?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 16, 2007 9:59 AM
Comment #226518

Any notion of the “common good” is noticeably absent in Rhinhold’s postings…me, my, mine…it’s the main difference between the so-called conservatives & liberals, between “red” and “blue”, between “Republican” and Democrat…one seeks all possible for oneself and the devil take the hindmost if someone else is hurt…the other seeks the common good, knowing that the better we all do, the better we all do!

Posted by: Rachel at July 16, 2007 10:01 AM
Comment #226519

‘Why would a tax on cigarettes be any less “constitutional” than a tax on gasoline???’

I am no expert on the constitution BUT exactly who is the representative of the smoker?
Look at Obama - he got ‘caught’ smoking.
‘Caught’ - that is soooooo high school.

We the people just accept these taxes being placed (and raised) on us because it is for the ‘greater good’. Who’s greater good?
The more money our government collects - the more they spend and waste.

Our state is going to outsource an interstate highway to another country because we can’t afford the upkeep. (The state started a lottery and raised sales tax to pay for these things. We pay a road tax every year when we renew our plates.)
Anyone know why?
From what I understand the company will employ American citizens - the state employs American citizens -


Posted by: Dawn at July 16, 2007 10:04 AM
Comment #226520

As for ‘smart’, the collective IQ always goes down when politics is involved. Rhetoric and powerplays are the norm, actual logic and reason are scoffed at…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 16, 2007 10:08 AM
Comment #226521

Rachel,

If Rhineholds ‘selfish’ way of looking at the solution to the healthcare system would actually work for all …

It seems you didn’t even consider what he said because he used ‘me’ and not ‘we’.

And I suppose that can work the other way around …
If it’s all in the attitude & just changing a couple words …

Posted by: Dawn at July 16, 2007 10:13 AM
Comment #226526

Democracy in action Dawn. Majority rules.
Other people dictating how you live your own life and if you refuse, they use govt to force you to believe as they believe.
Unconstitutional? You bet.

The funny thing is how the people most affected by these “sin” taxes will still keep voting for the people who impose such unconstitutional laws. Why? Because they promise them things like universal healthcare and more “free” money from the govt and protection from guns, because all gun owners are evil.

So, the rights of the individual no longer matter, unless they happen to fall in line with what the majority believes.

Posted by: kctim at July 16, 2007 11:05 AM
Comment #226532

Dawn, my glass house is I like a good bottle of wine, but I don’t cry because I have to pay extra taxes on it to enjoy it, it is a luxury tax I pay so I can enjoy my luxury.

As you paying higher medical insurance, yes you probably do, but a lot of the cost is also spread across the board so that the insurance companies don’t lose money, but who pays for the medical bills of those without insurance who have cancer? Do the tobacco companies, or is there a fund that smokers put into so that their bills are paid?

What about the problem with second hand smoke?

Posted by: KT at July 16, 2007 11:22 AM
Comment #226535

And my car insurance pays for idiots who wreck their cars while talking on a cell phone or whatever act they try to perform while driving.
Recently a guy killed himself on a highway nearby in a head-on collision - and killed a woman in the oncoming car!! - because he leaned over (where he couldn’t see where he was going)to reach for something - most likely his phone.

How do we ‘target’ these people? Not one person is going to ADMIT they were on the phone when they wrecked.

Someone I know changed their car insurance when their premium was raised because lighting a cigarette is a distraction that causes accidents.
There are hundreds of distractions while driving.

Posted by: Dawn at July 16, 2007 11:45 AM
Comment #226536

‘Do the tobacco companies, or is there a fund that smokers put into so that their bills are paid? ‘

Scroll up and read what David wrote.

Posted by: Dawn at July 16, 2007 11:48 AM
Comment #226546
Any notion of the “common good” is noticeably absent in Rhinhold’s postings…me, my, mine…it’s the main difference between the so-called conservatives & liberals, between “red” and “blue”, between “Republican” and Democrat…one seeks all possible for oneself and the devil take the hindmost if someone else is hurt…the other seeks the common good, knowing that the better we all do, the better we all do!

Rachel, great example of political rhetoric! Of course, it falls a bit since I’m not a conservative but a classic liberal. You know, what liberals use to stand for (individual responsibility, freedom from government, personal liberty, etc) before they realized they could save the world (and gain political power!) by spending the fruits of other’s labors how they see fit.

You see, it would be for the ‘common good’ if we incentivized people to be healthy. You can do this by making sure they know they will be able to save more of their own money by living a healthy lifestyle. Instead, using YOUR belief of the ‘common good’, you would rather make sure everyone knows that they can live however they want to live without fear without it costing them anything extra because ‘the society’ will pick up their tab. In the end, we have a bunch of unhealthy citizens and no one concerned about the cost.

Just a question for you rachel, how long in your view of a ‘perfect common good’ world before McDonald’s would be outlawed?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 16, 2007 1:14 PM
Comment #226551

Rachel asked: “Why would a tax on cigarettes be any less ‘constitutional’ than a tax on gasoline???”

With the consent of the people, gas taxes underwrite the road, bridge, and transportation infrastructure which ALL Americans benefit from directly or indirectly.

The cigarette tax revenues DO NOT go toward smoking cessation programs and assistance and hence, have no direct beneficial relationship to the people targeted for the taxation. Smoker’s in the majority DO NOT consent to the cigarette taxes. These are just a few of immense differences between the two taxes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #226552

So called ‘compassionate’ conservatives COMPLETELY miss the boat on this debate about universal health care.

Do we turn dying people walking into Emergency Rooms back into the gutter to be swept away by the street cleaners and dumped in landfills? Hell NO!

Yet, that is the primary justification for universal health care. When a person is suffering and in need of medical attention, DOES America reveal herself to be compassionate or, selfishly greedy in a Dicken’s novel fashion?

Since it is conservatives who reject the compassionate option, for protection of their wealth, putting the words compassionate and conservative together is the ultimate oxymoron.

Much like putting the words liberal and intelligent together. Liberals will tax smokers but, won’t direct the proceeds to assist smokers who want to quit, via the creation of smoking cessation clinics and check in facilities, which would pay for themselves many times over in time, and the eventual virtual eradication of smoking from America on a voluntary basis.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2007 2:08 PM
Comment #226557

Dawn,
I am an ex-smoker. I smoked for 38 years. I finally was able to quit 2+ years ago, and folks, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Frankly I would like a cigarette right now, as I type. I can understand why ex-smokers become smokers again.

However as hard as it’s been, I still agree with you, Dawn. I frankly considered suing the government for discrimination while I was a smoker.

Because that’s what it is.

It also strikes me as a very stupid way to fund anything, let alone health insurance. I believe its supposedly tagged for poor children.

I say stupid, because just as the government wishes to use the additional tax for insurance, it is also doing everything it can (short of making it illegal) to stop smoking. What happens if there are no more smokers? No insurance for poor children?

Either the government succeeds in stopping all smokers and we lose this “insurance” or we support smokers’ rights, and maintain it.

To try to do both at the same time is extremely htype. I can understand why ex-smokers become smokers again.

However as hard as it’s been, I still agree with you, Dawn. I frankly considered suing the government for discrimination while I was a smoker.

Because that’s what it is.

It also strikes me as a very stupid way to fund anything, let alone health insurance. I believe its supposedly tagged for poor children.

I say stupid, because just as the government wishes to use the additional tax for insurance, it is also doing everything it can (short of making it illegal) to stop smoking. What happens if there are no more smokers? No insurance for poor children?

Either the government succeeds in stopping all smokers and we lose this “insurance” or we support smokers’ rights, and maintain it.

To try to do both at the same time is extremely hypocritical.

BTW, quitting smoking is not as easy as everyone here seems to think. For most, it’s down right scary, and extremely hard. I was the best quitter for years - I quit and then I’d quit quitting.

Frankly I believe that if there is going to be a raise on cigarette taxes, then an equal or more percentage should be placed on alcohol. After all drunk driving kills as well, and heaven only knows how many families are ruin because of alcoholism.

Also how about all luxury items, such as: high priced luxury cars, such as SUVs which we all know cause pollution and are gas guzzlers, or cookies, cakes and candies, videos and video games, cell phones and computers, etc. Hey, we could even shut down Las Vegas!

None of these items are necessary for living, and all of them can create problems, depending upon who uses them or how they are used.

Posted by: Linda H. at July 16, 2007 3:26 PM
Comment #226559

Someone I know changed their car insurance when their premium was raised because lighting a cigarette is a distraction that causes accidents.
There are hundreds of distractions while driving.

—————————

The biggest distraction is Billboards.

Lets get rid of em… they spoil the landscape.

Posted by: tree hugger at July 16, 2007 3:39 PM
Comment #226564
Rachel, great example of political rhetoric! Of course, it falls a bit since I’m not a conservative but a classic liberal.

If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck it must be a duck. And this duck has done a lot of quacking, even if it wants to call himself a horse.

Posted by: Cube at July 16, 2007 4:06 PM
Comment #226567

David R. Remer-
AHEM. Your idea strikes me as good, but your delivery of the idea had a major flaw in it. I believe you can figure out what for yourself.

As for cigarettes taxes and the like? I’m not the biggest fan of them. However, I don’t think that is unconstitutional, and I’m rather puzzled by this tendency for some on the right to declare something unconstitutional when what they really mean is that they f***ing hate it. The gist of that argument typically is to say that there’s a law against such laws, and to skip around the debate entirely.

As for smoker’s rights? The smoker I know best never smoked in the house, nor in the car. She always did it out in the open, and for that, I’m grateful.

Limiting the places smokers can smoke is no different than limiting the places that people who’ve had a few drinks can drive. Secondhand smoking and drunk driving are respectively the worst problems that users of these drugs make for others. I’ve been in a club and a pool hall with friends, and I’ll tell you what, in both cases it gives new meaning to the phrase “going out to get some fresh air”.

Actually, you want to know what made smoking less attractive in urban environments? Computers. Apparently, microscopic particular matter and computer circuits don’t mix.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2007 4:34 PM
Comment #226569
If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck it must be a duck. And this duck has done a lot of quacking, even if it wants to call himself a horse.

*sigh* Here we go again. Ok, please explain to me how I fit into the ‘conservative’ camp instead of the ‘libertarian’ camp again? How exactly am I walking like a duck? Because I don’t think socialized medicine is the way to go to provide best of care for more people? That I don’t want to go to the English route where people get their healtcare from the clinics UNLESS they have a lot of money, then they can get great healthcare, no lines, etc? Right now the MAJORITY if people have good healthcare in this country, and NOONE is suggest we just throw the old and poor out on the street on there own.

How exactly does it help ANYONE to allow them to live their lives without any concern about the quality of their own health again? That somehow makes me a ‘cruel selfish git’ exactly? Since you know me so well…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 16, 2007 4:47 PM
Comment #226571

KAP

“I went from 2 1/2 to 3 packs a day to 0. I just got sick of paying a ridiculous price for cigarettes.”

i quit years ago. tired of coughing up tar balls in the morning.

” Personally I don’t care of anyone smokes.”

me neither, if you want to go ahead.


” What I really think should be taxed to the max is alcholic beverages, they seem to do more damage to people that smoking does.”


NOW LETS NOT GET CRAZY HERE ! ;-)

Posted by: dbs at July 16, 2007 5:16 PM
Comment #226574

Stephen D., yeah, it was a bit of hyperbole to call liberal and intelligence strung together an oxymoron. But, Democrats, on this issue, have not shown much intelligence as I outlined. Regarding this issue, Democrats have shown only political greed in the form of generating revenues from a troubled minority (smokers) to succor votes from the non-smokers by diverting those revenues to more popular spending programs like education in general or increased Veteran’s benefits. There is no solution to the problems of smoking attached to this Democratic support for cigarette taxes.

So, there is some truth to the oxymoron comment regarding this issue.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2007 5:44 PM
Comment #226576

And, they can never tax TOO much because people might actually stop and their funding then goes away. So they can’t really be 100% for convincing people to quit.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 16, 2007 6:00 PM
Comment #226578

david

c’mmon man! don’t you know by now that results don’t matter, only your intentions do. you need to stop being so judgemental. ;-)

Posted by: dbs at July 16, 2007 6:06 PM
Comment #226588

…and the commercial says ——

Diabetes can be prevented!!

Put a tax on any foods that can cause diabetes and pay for everything.

Posted by: Dawn at July 16, 2007 7:38 PM
Comment #226592

David R. Remer-
You could put together Liberal policy and intelligent. Then nobody could say you were making it personal.

And in case you noticed, I didn’t exactly rave about the policy. Cigarettes, I once heard, are more addictive than Heroin. As much as I dislike smoking, appealing to smokers as if smoking was a rational market decision by taxing them to death on it is wrong on the basic facts. You’re only going to get those people for whom it is a rational market decisions: the unaddicted.

Better to fund smoking prevention programs, while it still is a rational decision, and not one made with folk’s dopamine pathways hooked on the Nicotine fix.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2007 8:10 PM
Comment #226594

Rhinehold just because its called socialized medicine doesnt means its bad. As you can see from this thread once we start with a sin tax it doesnt stop cause after food groups,Vegas and alcohol then we can start on the religious whackos, the CoG’s and whoever else, cause in the end to much of anything could be a sin(running is good exercise if done on a regular basis, 20 miles a day and needing a hip replacement at 45 isnt) . Rather than duke it out over what is healthier, and trying to figure out insurance companies and the predatory capitalistic health care system we currently use why not try a French, German or English type system? No system is perfect but the old system of employer insurance is fading and being able to have insurance when you change jobs etc is a good thing. Most people’s wages dont support decent health insurance. The doctors office has more than just malpractice to worry about each insurance company has different regulations in addition to the government regulations so a single payer type system might reduce the added insurance paperwork.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 16, 2007 8:14 PM
Comment #226598

Stephen D., the 12 step program for alcoholics and the many hard drug addiction programs are very successful for those motivated to enter them, in breaking their addiction.

Why are Democrats (or Republicans) not underwriting such a program for smokers? Like I said, there are millions of smokers who WANT to quit. You don’t have any credence whatsoever writing smokers off as dead already so you can funnel the cigarette taxes into roads, bridges, and State Capital restorations.

An extremely small percentage of the tobacco awards have actually been spent on smoking prevention, so that argument does not even work for Democrats.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 16, 2007 8:33 PM
Comment #226601
I am no expert on the constitution BUT exactly who is the representative of the smoker?

And who exactly is the representative of all the drivers who use gasoline? The lobbyists for Exxon/Mobil, Chevron, ad nauseam????

Posted by: Rachel at July 16, 2007 8:41 PM
Comment #226602
Smoker’s tax. There has got to be a way to prove this tax unconstitutional.>

Smokers aren’t being taxed…the tax is a tax on a product…just like food (at least in most states) isn’t taxed, but “snack” food is taxed…if you don’t want to pay the tax, don’t buy the product…

Posted by: Rachel at July 16, 2007 8:43 PM
Comment #226611

This is an example of the vicious cycle we see when the government becomes our nanny. If we expect the government to take care of us, body and soul,then why shouldn’t the government also tell us how to behave? What could happen is this:

No additional taxes be placed on cigarettes, either at the city, state, or federal level. But then if you get lung cancer as a result of smoking, you’re not eligible for any government assistance for your health care.

It’s harsh but consistent. I don’t see how you can say that the government shouldn’t try to influence your choices but still has to pick up the tab to help you with the consequences of the choices you make. It’s one or the other.

Basically, I think the current system makes sense, except that ALL taxes on cigarettes should be barred from being spent on anything but health care. This would prevent the government from having a vested interest in the continuation of smoking to fund other projects.

The government isn’t banning smoking outright, but what’s wrong with placing taxes on it to recoup some of the costs associated with the demands of its citizens to live in a nanny state.

In general, and not just with this one issue, people should not be demanding “freedoms” on one hand while demanding the government to bankroll those freedoms on those other.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 16, 2007 9:53 PM
Comment #226621
Rhinehold just because its called socialized medicine doesnt means its bad

No, it has nothing to do with what it is called, it is what it is that is bad. As soon as you involve the government into a decision, politics get played with that decision. The government should not be telling us how to live. You most likely agree with that statement. However, as soon as we start using tax money to fund the system, the government WILL start telling us how to live, and what happens if a Bush gets into office then? How many good sound medical decisions are going to become fodder for the political campaign? How are the lobbiest for the religious groups that eschew science for the bible going to use their newfound power to dictate even more how we live our lives? I can’t buy a car on Sunday in Indiana because of these people and you want me to let them have a say, ANY say, in my healthcare choices?

Sorry, j2t2, but there has got to be a better way. Instead of bringing everything into a single payer, why not let insurance groups offer their services to individuals instead of companies? Right now if my insurance that my company offers is not adequate or is too expensive or just doesn’t fit my needs, I either have to accept it or change jobs. I can’t go and solicit health insurance from anyone BY LAW. How silly is this? Where is the free market that people claim our current healthcare industry is? It isn’t. If I go to purchase a car, I can choose the one that fits best for me, based on price, offerings, service, quality, etc. I can’t do that for healthcare now.

You mention Germany, France and England. Do you really want to get into the reasons why those a) aren’t as great as people think and b) won’t work very well in a society that does not work the way that those societies work? I already mentioned in England that only the rich get good medical care, here the majority of people do. Do you want to go to that system and have most people covered with barely adequate care while the upper 2-5% can go to a private doctor and have good quality healthcare?

It is my firm belief that unless we give people the ability to make the choices in their lives to better themselves they will lose that ability to do so. By taking more and more decisions out of the hands of the citizenry we are making a less intelligent and more dependant society. And this can be shown statistically…

So, as I’ve always said, we need to make a decision. This mess we have now doesn’t work as well as it should, there is too much bureacracy and too little government oversight. It has to tip more one way or the other. I prefer the way that is going to put the decisions in the hands of the citizens, not the politicians. From what you mention it seems that you prefer the other way.

I think that this is a good distinction of what separates the old liberal and the new.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 16, 2007 10:52 PM
Comment #226638

You know I hate it when people stand in line using their cell phones at the store holding everybody else up. Then, they cause all those crashes out on the interstate talking on their phones. How about a huge cell phone use tax to offset future expenses incurred by the State?

You know they say sexual behavior accounted for 20,000 deaths in the United States. How about a huge tax on pornography to offset the future expenses incurred by the State?

They say too much sunlight causes skin cancer, a leading cause of death. How about forcing people to have at least a certain number of shade trees per 1/4 acre of land or pay a higher property tax to offset future health costs incurred by the State?

You know, physical inactivity is a leading cause of obesity which is a trigger for diabetes, a major cause of death. How about a tax on anyone owning more than one television, or any television over a 19” diagonal screen which facilitates group watching; to offset future medical expenses incurred by the State, of course.

Homicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. How about higher taxes on those convicted of violent crimes and homicide for the remainder of their lives to offset expenses incurred by the State?

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. How about taxes on all remaining possessions of individuals committing suicide to offset expenses incurred by the State?

Aging is one of the primary factors in medical expenditures in the United States. How about a tax upon the Aged for the disproportionate medical expenses they incur upon the State?

Drug Abuse is another leading cause of illness and death in the United States. How about a higher lifetime tax on those who are convicted of possession or selling of illegal substances to offset the costs of drug prevention and rehab programs incurred by the State?

Children’s Athletics is one of the leading causes in injury-related illness requiring medical attention among kids. How about a huge tax on parents that allow their kids to participate in school or organizational sports of any kind to offset the expenses incurred by the State?

Just a few suggestions for more liberal taxation…

JD

Posted by: JD at July 17, 2007 1:11 AM
Comment #226641

Opponents of universal health care coverage fear it. Precisely because they ignorantly or uneducatedly equate universal health care with Government doctors and Hospital administrators. Of course, nothing like that has even been contemplated, let alone proposed.

Or perhaps, they fear the reality of what is being proposed, that government fund a national health care system that insures basic health care for all who cannot afford better insurance, and providing contracts to competitors in the private sector for health care delivery. Meaning doctors, nurses, aides, and technicians as well as hospitals and administrators all remain in the private sector, but, whose services are provided to both the public receiving coverage under the government paid Universal system as well as the public who can afford even better coverage through private insurance.

The net outcome is private health insurance companies will shrink and those remaining will cater to the wealthier and instead of 47 million uninsured Americans, everyone is insured. Oh, and yes, those with investment stocks in health insurance industries will need to look for other investment vehicles, or at least choose amongst a much shorter list of the best run.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 17, 2007 2:19 AM
Comment #226650

Rhinehold,

I either have to accept it or change jobs. I can’t go and solicit health insurance from anyone BY LAW. How silly is this? Where is the free market that people claim our current healthcare industry is? It isn’t.

This statement makes little to no sense. One can call, or solicit health insurance from any company they wish. Assuming they are willing to pay for the cost themselves.

The problem comes with being accepted by the desired company. For instance, no one will insure my healthy 50 year old husband, who is not over weight, doesn’t smoke, has no heart problems, and takes only two pills. Both are for mild diabetes.

As for the actually topic, I still maintain that taxing special people amounts to discrimination.
And as I stated earlier, I am an ex-smoker.

Posted by: Linda H. at July 17, 2007 7:43 AM
Comment #226665

And what term might one use to describe the tobacco companies who, over the last year or so, added 10% more nicotine to their “product” to assure more people could not and would not stop using their dangerous product by making it even more addictive???

Posted by: Rachel at July 17, 2007 9:55 AM
Comment #226666

Cigarettes are legal, pot is not. Pot has more carcinogens, but the average smoker consumes 5-10 times more tobacco than the average pot smoker consumes cannabis. Cannabis has never been proven to be the sole cause of any death: any cancers were in people that also smoked cigarettes, any motor accidents also involved alcohol or other drugs. Tobacco kills tens of thousands every year, both in smokers and in those exposed to second-hand smoke. Cannabis has medicinal value, tobacco has none whatsoever. And yet, cigarettes are legal, pot is not.

So what’s the logical thing to do? Either legalize pot or make cigarettes illegal. Neither will ever ever happen. The tobacco lobby is too powerful and the government enjoys the tax revenues too much, and no legislator will put their political future in jeopardy by suggesting legalizing weed.

What does this have to do with the thread? I think the reason that cigs get so much taxation is because most people believe in their hearts that they should be illegal. The legislation would never pass, so instead they tax the hell out of them to assuage their guilt at not doing the right thing.

So I say, until the day comes, tax the hell out of them. Maybe it will encourage a few more people to quit. Cigs kill you nasty, trust me, I’ve seen it happen.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at July 17, 2007 10:14 AM
Comment #226683

I find it absolutely hillarious when I read the posts from people above that are saying that smoking should be taxed because it is a luxury and you can simply choose not to do it if you don’t like the tax……OK….but then they go on to say how they are offended when they smell it in a restaraunt or a bar……..well as far as I am concerned, those are also “luxuries” so just “choose” to keep your asses out of those establishments!!!!

Think about it folks…..compared to MANY other countries…EVERY DAMN THING WE HAVE IS A LUXURY!! This is silliness….don’t come complaining to me or the rest of society when they come after your “luxury”!!!! Luxury is all in the eye of the beholder!!

Posted by: Traci at July 17, 2007 4:44 PM
Comment #226702
I find it absolutely hillarious when I read the posts from people above that are saying that smoking should be taxed because it is a luxury

The real question is: Are cigarettes and tobacco products a necessity or a choice?

They border on necessity for smokers, but that is because nicotine is an addicting drug…why are we rewarding tobacco companies who deliberately add additional nicotine to their products so people will be even more addicted??

Heck, we finally just got rid of the tax put on telephone usage to fund the Spanish-American War (1898)!!

“Snack” foods are taxed, gasoline is taxed, toilet paper is taxed…one is not a necessity, two are necessities (unless you can still find an old Sears’ catalog, anyway)…

Posted by: Rachel at July 17, 2007 9:19 PM
Comment #226703

Snack foods do not have a 33%+ tax on them.

BTW - it isn’t just cigarettes. Chewing tobacco is taxed the same and no one who uses that blows 2nd hand smoke in anyone’s face. As far as I know it doesn’t cause lung cancer either, athough, all those people you see walking around with the gaping hole in the side of their face most likely used it.

Is the snack food or the gasoline the necessity?

Posted by: Dawn at July 17, 2007 10:23 PM
Comment #226726
Is the snack food or the gasoline the necessity?

Since GM took over public transit in LA back in the earlier 1900s, killed it to sell more cars and since suburbia has become the lifestyle choice, gasoline has been a necessity just to get to work…if we had the transit & lifestyle we had in the late 40s and early 50s, we wouldn’t be as dependent on gasoline…as long as we “need” gasoline, the Middle East can hold the US hostage…politically & economically.

Plastics are all derived as a product of petroleum, too…use glass containers for storage of food…use reusable fabric bags for bringing home your groceries…recycle…

Hard to blow smoke in someone’s face with that big hole where your cheek used to be if you use chaw…it, too, is NOT a necessity, it’s a choice.

Is anyone beginning to see where “choices” we make have an impact on the larger community, not just me, mine, me??? Why do you think asthma is skyrocketing??

Posted by: Rachel at July 18, 2007 10:20 AM
Comment #226728

Owning a business that allows smoking is also a choice.
Going where smoking is prohibited or allowed is a choice.
Working where smoking is prohibited or allowed is a choice.

If a smoker can choose to quit if they don’t want to pay the extra tax, then why can’t the owner, customer and worker choose to operate, frequent or work where they want?

“Is anyone beginning to see where “choices” we make have an impact on the larger community”

Then why not mention the “choice” that has the greatest impact on “the larger community:” Being a burden on govt?

Funny how “choice” is only important when it agrees with ones personal views.

Posted by: kctim at July 18, 2007 10:39 AM
Comment #226736

“Choice” that harms other people is not much of a “choice”…second hand smoke kills…do you feel good about that???

Posted by: Rachel at July 18, 2007 12:10 PM
Comment #226737

Um, no, I don’t feel good about second hand smoke. That is why I use my choice to not be around it.

Posted by: kctim at July 18, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #226746

I would like to see that factual without a doubt case of someone dying from second hand smoke….and I don’t want any hypothesis’ either.

Hypothetically anything can happen.

I do believe that it can trigger asthma and such but plenty of people have cancer and asthma that do not smoke and aren’t around it. Visa-versa as well those that have smoked their entire lives and never encountered either.

I hate to break it to alot of people, but most things are genetics that run in your family. I have a friend that bitches pisses and whines any time she sees a smoker and starts yelling about how it well effect their children.
Well….here is the deal…I am a smoker and most of my extended family is as well (not that I am advocating) but my son dosn’t have so much as a sniffle ever and he is 7. On the other hand, HER supposedly well protected children are never without two green racing streaks hangin’ out of their noses. WHY????? GENETICS!!!!!! My family is prone to auto-immune diseases….they run in the family we are pre-dispositioned to get them!!

Also….explain to me the difference of inhaling the smoke of a cigarette and that of either a woodstove or a campfire.

Make no mistake…..I am not….NOT….advocating that cigarettes are not harmfull….they certainly don’t help.

BUT…..

Once upon a time we were positive the Earth was flat and you could get aids from merely kissin’ or touching also depending on the weather, every decade they start spouting to eat salt and then don’t eat salt!! Those of us that are educated know that everything is in moderation.

Besides….I certainly did not appreciate the overpowering reeky perfume the old lady behind me at a local eatery was wearing…..but I didn’t act like an asshole and start coughing and waving my hand in the air asking for a manager. I had a choice…..move, or deal!!!

Posted by: Traci at July 18, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #226783
Um, no, I don’t feel good about second hand smoke. That is why I use my choice to not be around it.

Then let’s give everyone the freedom of having that choice…

Posted by: Rachel at July 18, 2007 8:23 PM
Comment #226785

You have ALWAYS had that choice Rachel.

Posted by: Dawn at July 18, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #226795

I never understood the “second hand smoke kills” argument, as if it were unassailable. Common sense and experience says that given the fact that smokers who inhale smoke directly into their lungs with from 20 to 40 cigarettes a day, for as many 40 to 60 years, may die from 3 or 4 to many as 20 years sooner than if they hadn’t smoked. But, someone who breathes 2nd hand smoke on a very part time basis for a couple years is going to drop dead on the spot.

Coal miners in first half of the 20th century had worked 20 to 40 years breathing coal dust, before dying of Black Lung disease, and that is intensely more damaging to the lungs per inhale than smoking a cigarette.

I am not defending the act of smoking cigarettes, but, the deceptive and wrong information used by those opposed to cigarette smokers, to try to further their will over smokers. I frankly won’t listen to non-smokers on the issue. They don’t know what they are talking about in terms of its effects, its addictiveness, nor, in large part, about the factual scientific evidence regarding the harm and dangers of smoking. For example, you almost never hear a non-smoker acknowledge the fact that smoking harms some, far more readily and far more drastically than many others.

My grandmother smoked from the age of 16 to 92, Pall Mall, unfiltered. And she died not from smoking, emphysema, or cancer, she died of a blood clot. On the other hand, my Uncle Rhiney, smoked for just 26 years, and died of lung cancer at the age of 39. I don’t know what his occupations were, or what occupational or other environmental conditions his lungs were exposed to like asbestos, but, it is a reasonable bet the smoking alone did not cause that early onset of lung cancer which killed him in 1964. He spent his youth working with grains on a farm. That too may have been a contributing factor, as grain bins and grain operations were extremely dust ridden affairs.

I think there should be smoking bars and restaurants and motel rooms and non-smoking bars and restaurants and motel rooms. And smokers should respect the air quality of non-smokers.

That said, with so many millions of smokers wishing they could quit, it is like a no brainer that America should create smoking cessation clinics and make them available free or cheap to any smokers wishing to quit. It would be a lot cheaper than paying Medicare and Medicaid for smoking related maladies years down the road, and reduce health insurance premiums for everyone if millions of smokers quit over 10 years with the help of cessation clinics.

And there is no better role model to prevent our young from smoking, that adults who quit and can talk from experience as to why!

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 18, 2007 9:24 PM
Comment #226897
But, someone who breathes 2nd hand smoke on a very part time basis for a couple years is going to drop dead on the spot.

Tell that to the spouses of smokers who’ve died of lung cancer…tell that to the kids of smokers who have a high rate of asthma…not being able to breathe is not a funny thing.

Posted by: Rachel at July 19, 2007 5:05 PM
Comment #226899

Rachel

Stop the soundbites already. There have been some deeper thoughts being conveyed above backed with examples and everything, and you do not provide information that would dispute those with, you simply say “people die?”
Come on now….at least give an example of a personal friend (not a sound bite) that died undisputedly from secondhand smoke cancer.

Posted by: Traci at July 19, 2007 5:32 PM
Comment #226922

My great-aunt…my aunt also had lung cancer which is in remission…she didn’t smoke, but her father-in-law, with whom her family lived, did…

My father smoked…I have asthma…it’s not fun…and he now has emphysema.

Posted by: Rachel at July 20, 2007 12:40 AM
Comment #226925

My next door neighbors 2 kids are constantly sick - snotty noses, pnuemonia - they both had tubes put in their ears -neither parent smokes and they are runners & health conscious.
My step-son has asthma & bad allergies and neither parent smoked.
My grandmother lived to be 87 and lived with a chain smoker - neither of which had lung cancer. My grandfather’s death was attributed to working in the steel mills.
My parents both smoked and none of their children have asthma and we were very healthy children.
My children are very healthy.

Can any of you imagine the day when science proves we are ALL born with a predisposition for disease?
I am for stem cell research. Use the cells of embryos that will other wise be detroyed.
Maybe I’m crazy…. BUT … I believe it makes MORE sense to use that embryo for medical research than it does to simply destroy it — if the case was argued correctly … most everyone would accept that.

Posted by: Dawn at July 20, 2007 1:29 AM
Comment #226930

There are other causes of death and illness other than smoking…but smoking is definitely one cause…and in my family it has already caused death and illness.

Posted by: Rachel at July 20, 2007 8:57 AM
Comment #226970

I don’t think its unconstitutional, but fair. Since we tax many other stuff you might as well tax cigarettes. It’s like paying state tax to pave our roads. Having cigarette taxes will put that money towards the percentage of ‘smokers’ provided with free healthcare (medicare) and the percentage of those sooner getting lung cancer.

Posted by: MCOMM 100 at July 20, 2007 7:21 PM
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