Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Congress needs more smokers?

Here's what this article is basically about.

"Members of Congress seeking to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover children from wealthier families are exploring new ways to pay for it. The Senate Finance Committee generally has agreed to reauthorize SCHIP for five years with a $35 billion expansion funded by an increase in the federal tobacco tax by 61 cents per pack."

This article is right by increasing the tobacco taxes, fewer people will still smoke. Or at least more smokers would switch to MYOs instead.

But this article goes on to say how Congress needs more smokers. Considering how most smokers are in the 24-44 age range (43 percent of smokers as a whole). and since most smokers are in the poor class (as this article points out itself), here's an idea on how Congress can get "more smokers."

Quit raising the darn tobacco taxes!

While it's true lots of people have quit smoking because of the high tobacco taxes, it's also true more smokers have resorted to getting cigs the illegal way (which includes buying packs underground). When a smoker buys packs underground, or even switches to MYO cigs, Congress doesn't get a single penny from those smokers.

Maybe if packs were a lot more affordable at say 2 bucks per pack, Congress would get its wish of more smokers.

Oh wait a minute. Even if cigs WERE affordable for more poor folks and young folks who enjoy smoking, there's another problem with the idea of "Getting more smokers." We got stupid-A smoking bans in America! What's the point of recruiting more smokers when they can't smoke in places?

If Congress REALLY needs new smokers in order to support this idea of raising the fed tobacco tax, then cigs need to be a lot more affordable. And we need to revoke smoking bans across America ASAP. Because even if a pack WAS only 2 bucks, I'm not buying them if I can't actually smoke and enjoy them wherever I please in public. At least smoking wherever I please is normal behavior in some African countries.

Unless I missed it in my reading of this article, this article failed to mention smoking bans are another reason why more people quit smoking.

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