Thursday, February 05, 2009

Higher Cigarette Tax Is Very Sensible

From The Wall Street Journal:

The Feb. 2 editorial "The New Poor Tax" is based on the same old faulty logic that manufacturers have been making for decades whenever cigarette tax hikes are suggested as a means of paying for social programs. There is no argument that cigarette taxes discourage consumption especially among the poor, who can least afford to be addicted to cigarettes.

Ninety-five percent of those who smoke say they regret their decision ever to start. The majority of smokers say they want to quit, so why is it so bad for the government to provide an economic incentive to help move smokers to cut down or quit? The U.S. has one of the lowest tax rates on tobacco in the world and the meager 39 cents-per-pack tax is hardly enough to pay for the massive annual medical bill caused by smoking.

By boosting the federal tax by the proposed 61 cents-per-pack to pay for the children's insurance fund, Congress will not only maintain a much-needed health insurance program but will also help reduce smoking.

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