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Smoking vs. health vs. taxes?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by bisearoet, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. bisearoet

    bisearoet Member

    I am a firm believer in the "Live and Let Live" saying. People are free to eat, drink and smoke as they wish and whenever they see it fit, within their own beliefs and habits. We can almost all agree that smoking however is a deterrent to good health, causing the smokers and the non-smokers serious health conditions. We also know that the health system is suffering from lack of funding and is sub-par to what it should be nowadays in country like ours.
    Having stated facts, I'd like an intelligent and constructive feedback on this: Would you support raising considerably taxes on smoking products (cigarettes, cigars, etc..) accross nation rather than doing so in other areas like income tax ? Would you raise it to 50% ?
    The increase would help fill up the registers in the health system, encourage people to smoke less for financial reason primarily (secondly for health conscious), and enable people to earn more (regardless if you smoke or not). I appreciate intelligent answers.
  2. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Totally! As the future wife of a smoker who is already showing symptoms of distress in his respiratory system, I'd totally vote for a raise of a 50%. In most european countries cigarettes are already an expensive thing, but not expensive enough, at least not the point of being a real deterrent for smokers to buy more. Something like this should be discussed by the goverment.
  3. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    Well, the problem is... you would be surely shot by a smoker if you said this in public... because for many, it would mean they couldn't afford it anymore and they would have to stop... and have you ever seen one trying to quit... yipe!

    but 50 percent is a LOT to increase taxes, especially when they are already taxed like $4 in NYC and some places...that would be like a $10 pack of cigarettes... which would really hurt the whole industry...probably to the point of near collapse...

    it would generate a HUGE black market for them and be basically like you taxed them into prohibition...which may be over doing it a bit.
  4. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    You raise excellent questions and they deserve honest and forthright answers.

    Smoking IS a detrament to the health of smokers and non-smokers. I am certain that if the cigarette companies had been honest in the beginning, many of us would have chosen NOT to smoke.

    However, there is a minor fact that we must consider. When it comes to administering help to 'quit smoking' it is my belief that the companies who produce the aids for this should lower their prices to be more realistic. To purchase Nicoderm, Nickorette Gum or any other form of aid, the prices are in the range of $40 per package, which would average most probably less than a carton of cigartettes, but still expensive. However, thousands of smokers such as myself, have reduced their intake by 50% because of the increased prices and taxes on cigarettes. We also now purchase by the pack, and not the carton because of the expense. In my state they already cost OVER $5.00 a pack. The taxes were raised by the State to cover their issues of debt. However, the Liquor Tax has NOT been increased. This shows an unfairness toward people who smoke. Smoking does not cause accidents as in the case of people with DUI's for drugs and alcohol.

    So in all reality what the increased tax would do is only cause more anger against government for controlling the prices of one substance over another. It is good to remember that as in drug addicition and alcoholism, the smoking habit should be treated the same, but the difference is two of the three are legal. Instead of charging people for treatments such as hypnosis, patches or gum, if government wants to put an end to smoking, they should provide free treatment as they do for other addictions. But raising the tax on the items themselves only causes anger and distain.
  5. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    Whenever the collective pays for a common service, then they have a say in your private life.

    Yes smoking is an individual choice, individuals have the right to do stupid things.

    But why should I have to pay for the risks a smoker takes? Should I, or should I be able to determine how he lives since I am paying for it?

    If health care were provide by the public sector then it would be up to the insurance company to decide to insure this person at all, or for a higher price. The higher premium would be his 'punishment' for his stupid actions.

    Our gvmt health care is making people less healthy today than in the past. After all, why should people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol have to change their diet and exercises when they can just take a pill that someone else pays for?
  6. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    Having high taxes on tobacco would not be a problem if those funds actually went to the health care system for smoking related illnesses. That is not what happens, cigarette taxes just go into the general fund to be wasted at the whim of the congress. Essentially forcing a minority of pay for the majority. that is completely American and unethical.
  7. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    I prefer a simpler solution: do not use taxes to pay for health care. This way, people can smoke, eat Twinkies, drive 100mph on wet roads, piss and not wash their hands, play sports, never exercise, or anything else they want without forcing tax payers to pay for it. I believe in freedom. You are free to engage in whatever activities you want, and I should be free to NOT pay for the consequences.

    This is far simpler than trying to tax every possible thing a person can do to injure themselves or get sick. Occam's razor: "The simplest answer is usually the right one".
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Better to really raise the amount and taxes for those bad vices. That way only those who can really afford can buy and can also support themselves whenever they got sick from it and not go to public hospitals for free medications. More might also think a lot of times first if they will spend their money on it or in foods.
  9. CharlesClark

    CharlesClark Member

    Where can I find a good tax calculator?
  10. bomjik

    bomjik Member

    Indeed, nicotine, in terms of addiction, is one of the most potent drugs. Raising the tax will only generate more anger against the government, which controls the price of one substance over the other. Keep in mind that, as with drug addiction and alcoholism, smoking should be treated the same way, but the difference is that two of the three are legal. Tobacco companies are some of the richest and most powerful in the world. Because it is straightforward to start smoking, but you can't get out of it. So you can try to quit smoking; I have already done it; read the effects of smoking here!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021