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Tobacco tax increase: Quit or buy out of state?

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  • spider
    July 4, 2010 7:27 p.m.

    The new tobacco tax may get a few to quit,but it is the poorer class that smokes.This means the crime rate will rise dramaticly do to the fact that now cigs. will be treated like drugs,a black market will appear,along with the burglary,robbery, and all the pleasures of a new drug trade,congratulations on improving our community.

  • NeilT
    July 4, 2010 12:09 p.m.

    No use for tobacco, period. It is a filthy disgusting habit. Smokers throw their butts on the ground and out car windows starting fires. Tax it out of existence. The tobacco companies are a criminal enterprise. They lied under oath to congress. They produce a defective product and they should be held criminally liable.

  • Clarissa
    July 4, 2010 11:02 a.m.

    Cigarette smoking killed my Uncle Wesley, Uncle Harold, Uncle Bill, and Aunt Dolores. If taxing higher stops just one person from continuing in this terrible health issue, it will be worth it. If we lose tax money because they quit, we'll make it up in health care savings. I hate tobacco because it took my loved ones away from me. I'm sure I'll lose some more. Feel free to leave the state to buy your tobacco, but also feel free to move there when you become sick from them.

  • ramper
    July 3, 2010 5:42 p.m.

    Strange that an additional tax would make people quit. You would think that paying for the privilege of putting burning leaves in your mouth, and sucking in the smoke that will eventually restrict your breathing would be reason enough.

  • wild horses
    July 3, 2010 12:18 p.m.

    Next they will tax candy, pop, sugar, packaged foods, and everything else out there just because then think they can.
    Its just a start to take away the peoples right.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    July 3, 2010 11:48 a.m.

    Hey Sen. Hatch and Sen. Bennett. Guess what, very interesting here that the U.S. Supreme Court decision means, the identity of those who support or contribute to political causes will be subject to public disclosure. When the federal cigarette tax went up 61 cents last year, the Utah Tobacco Quit Line was flooded with calls from smokers who were ready to stop. Now, even more tobacco users are expected to call, thanks to a state tax increase adding another $1 to the price of a pack sin tax?. OK NOW, for all you non-smoker's here, under EQUAL RIGHTS here, let the smoker's (just for ya'll) demand a state tax increase adding another $1 to the price plus 61 cents, to junk food, sodas, beer, wine and booze per drink, energy drinks, coffee and tea, concert tickets, parking fees, news paper's, and all conservative AM and FM Talk Radio charged by the minute for listening to it, and TV, video's and DVD's, all cell phone call's per call, Movie Houses, just to name a few thing's here. Fair is fair now Utah.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    July 3, 2010 10:07 a.m.

    First off I'm a smoker, secondly, I'm not from Utah, (thank god for that), when the federal cigarette tax went up 61 cents last year, the Utah Tobacco Quit Line was flooded with calls from smokers who were ready to stop. Now, even more tobacco users are expected to call, thanks to a state tax increase adding another $1 to the price of a pack, OK NOW, for all you non-smoker's here, under EQUAL RIGHTS here, let the smoker's (just for ya'll) demand a state tax increase adding another $1 to the price plus 61 cents, to junk food, sodas, beer, wine and booze per drink, energy drinks, coffee and tea, concert tickets, parking fees, news paper's, and all conservative AM and FM Talk Radio charged by the minute for listening to it, and TV, video's and DVD's, all cell phone call's per call, Movie Houses, just to name a few thing's here, and see how you like a sin-tax as well. Fair is fair now Utah. And if you don't like it, "Quit or buy out of state" also. That's my view.

  • Alberta Reader
    July 2, 2010 7:27 a.m.

    voluntaryist
    What is your point?
    So are you saying you would like top live in a country say Somalia where there has been no functioning government for years? It is daily chaos and death I doubt it
    Do you like driving on roads? I guess you would prefer to be out there building and maintaining it yourself?
    Some form of functioning government is essential for the well being of a country or society
    Thats just the way it is

  • voluntaryist
    July 2, 2010 1:05 a.m.

    To alberta reader... What people choose to do with their own bodies is simply that, a choice. And if you want to rant on about how you have to pay for the disease, please consider that the reason you have to pay is because you are being forced to. Hence your support of the system is, in fact, totally contradictory and irrational. Why don't people realize that until we stop supporting the government, they will continue to enslave us further until there is literally nothing left that they do not control. Funny how many 'Americans' believe we are in a 'free' country. What a sham. Would you be willing to be the actual person that is told to enforce these so called 'laws'? I doubt it.

  • Alberta Reader
    July 1, 2010 11:56 p.m.

    435,000/365 equals 1192 daily deaths/24 about 50 deaths per hr in the USA
    No wonder this product should be banned
    Can you imagine if a drug came to market legally that killed 50/hr?

  • Alberta Reader
    July 1, 2010 11:51 p.m.

    This is from the internet for the yr 2000 in the US

    (2000) "The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000 deaths; 16.6%), and alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths; 3.5%). Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75,000), toxic agents (55,000), motor vehicle crashes (43,000), incidents involving firearms (29,000), sexual behaviors (20,000), and illicit use of drugs (17,000)."

  • Alberta Reader
    July 1, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    Cigarettes cause an early death (yea you could be in your 60's) every few minutes every day 24/7 year after year.
    If any other product sold in the World like this it would be pulled fast and suits would follow big time and you would think the world is coming to an end

  • Fitness Freak
    July 1, 2010 3:35 p.m.

    Actually, if you want to be a "good citizen" of Utah you WILL buy smokes out of state thus depriving Utah of EVER MORE revenue.

    If the legislature gets the idea that cig. tax revenue is GOING UP due to the tax hike, (which I doubt)they'll just raise the tax again.

    The smoke tax was raised due to the VERY HEAVY LOBBYING by the health police.

    If the health nannies are successful in raising more taxes from smokers they'll just be back in a year or two to raise the tax AGAIN!

    I don't smoke but LOVE the smell of smoke!

  • Roscoe
    July 1, 2010 2:25 p.m.

    The tax increase may prompt a small percentage of smokers to quit, they probably would have quit anyway. Two things will happen: people will bootleg cigarettes from surrounding states or people will pay the increased price. Of those who pay the increased price, some will have to take the money from elsewhere, like food, clothing and medical care for their children.

  • reeder
    July 1, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    LETS TAX FOOD AND MINIVANS DIAPERS AND CALL ACLU

  • Wickster77
    July 1, 2010 12:15 p.m.

    ""People in the apartment house, people in the trailer court will be pooling their resources and taking turns to drive to Evanston for the weekly Evanston cigarette run," said Stephenson, head of the Utah Taxpayers Association."

    So, only smokers live in apartment houses and trailer courts? Way to politically profile a group of people you know nothing about! Shameful, just shameful.

    As for Sen Christensen thinking that this increase will make some people quit, you're right it will, but only a handful. He doesn't realize how completely addicting the nicotine is, worse than heroin, so people will still pay the outrageous sums for their smokes.

    Christensen would do more positive health benefits by imposing a tax on soda and ice cream!

  • minnehonk
    July 1, 2010 12:07 p.m.

    If the issue is about health, than why not outlaw them altogether, don't be fooled, I live in Maine which raised the tax close to $3 a pack, they said that it was not about the money,but a health issue, but every year the State is short of revenue,you guessed it, they hit tobacco users first. incrementally raising the price a dollar at a time. if you really want people to quit, place a $20 tax per pack. maine actually saw the tobacco tax revenue decrease, due to the fact that Mainers were travelling next door to New Hampshire at half the price. I have never smoked in my life, but appalled at governments that cannot be up front and honest with their citizens

  • John Charity Spring
    July 1, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    Dear LDS Liberal,

    You have missed the point entirely. The government's role is to protect the public welfare. In this, it has failed miserably. It has extended its reach into numerous areas in which it has no basis being involved in, while ignoring the one area in which it is duty bound to be involved in.

    There is absolutely nothing inconsistent with the statement that government should stick to the Constitution by focusing on protecting the public welfare, and should stay out of areas for which it has no Constitutional basis to act.

    The time has come for the government to honor the only purpose for which it exists by abolishing tobacco altogether. In the absence of this courage, the next best thing is to tax it into oblivion.

  • Happy Valley Heretic
    July 1, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    A guy at the counter ahead of me making small talk with the clerk at "adventures stop" in Orem, mentioned he was running up to the Blackfoot Res., where he was buying cases of smokes for family and friends at half the cost of Utah's smokes.
    The clerk could barely contain herself to ring up my soda before getting her wallet out for this guy to smuggle smokes into utah. Funny thing is I know it's illegal to do this but this conversation wasn't being hidden. The Blackfoot will be happy to take Utah smoker's money.

    E. Klinche: Incidentally, the use of marijuana increases the likelihood of psychosis by 6 times, scientists say. So, is marijuana non-damaging and permissable in a free society?
    Reefer madness was not a documentary!

    Legislating morality is OK, huh?
    why stop at tobacco
    Divorce should be illegal
    Infidelity Illegal
    Eating shell fish or pork?
    Keeping the sabbath
    The Tailiban and other cleric run countries would be proud to have such moral leadership.

  • tabuno
    July 1, 2010 11:18 a.m.

    If the argument that Utahns will go out of state to buy cigarettes is used support lower taxes on cigarettes, the same argument can be made about legalized gambling in the State of Utah.

  • IakoSan
    July 1, 2010 11:16 a.m.

    My five friends and I have for the past six years driven to Evanston and/or Wendover for the sole purpose of buying beer, wine and our favorite spirits. Two of us smoke, so now we'll be adding cigs and cigars to the list of what we bring home. For our booze runs, generally three times a year, we spend about $900.00, thus depriving the lovely state of Utah. We don't mind the travel, 'cause we can buy our supplies at great savings. And, we can play the lottery. drink in real bars and gamble.

  • The Rock
    July 1, 2010 10:55 a.m.

    I live in Washington State where the cigarette tax adds over $3.00 a carton.

    I know people who rent a box at the UPS store in another state with very low tobacco taxes and have everything shipped to that location. The UPS store then forwards it to where the customer actually lives.

    Costs very little for the mail box and the company that ships the order has no record of it being shipped to Washington.

    Makes enforcement quite difficult.

  • LDS Liberal
    July 1, 2010 10:38 a.m.

    I lived in Seattle for 22 years.
    Moved back to Utah 2 years ago.

    I never saw smokers in Seattle.
    and it was $3+ per pack.

    yet I see them all the time here.

    Can somebody please explain that to me?

    Does the "sin" tax work.

    [I know in WA they use the tax to help off-set smoking related illnesses.]

  • scambuster
    July 1, 2010 10:32 a.m.

    I have to shake my head in amazement when state officials think that youth will be priced out of the cigarette market. It will simply turn into a black market similar to that of the illegal drug market which is far more expensive, but seems to have a lot of youth users. People will just run to the borders of neighboring states, purchase large amounts of cigarettes and sell them (at a profit) but still cheaper than what they can be purchased for in Utah. Prohibition didn't work in the 1930's and I doubt it will work in the 2010's.

  • scambuster
    July 1, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    I have to shake my head in amazement when state officials think that youth will be priced out of the cigarette market. It will simply turn into a black market similar to that of the illegal drug market which is far more expensive, but seems to have a lot of youth users. People will just run to the borders of neighboring states, purchase large amounts of cigarettes and sell them (at a profit) but still cheaper than what they can be purchased for in Utah. Prohibition didn't work in the 1930's and I doubt it will work in the 2010's.

  • LDS Liberal
    July 1, 2010 10:29 a.m.

    John Charity Spring | 7:31 a.m.

    But,
    I thought you advocated LOWER taxes and LESS Government.

    Which is it JohnCS?

    C'mon, show some integrity,
    don't be a hypocrite.

    What do you want?

  • LDS Liberal
    July 1, 2010 10:26 a.m.

    E. Klinche | 5:19 a.m.

    The Word of Wisdom is right.
    I encourage other to follow.

    BUT

    The best way to keep Government out of Religion,
    is to keep Religion out of Government.

    I for one, don't want to live in Utah-liban.

  • My_Comments
    July 1, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” —McCulloch v Maryland 17 U.S. 327 (1819)

    It is well settled that once the legislature has the power to tax a thing they can tax it at whatever rate they want.

    Let's think about this Supreme Court holding in light of the legislature's ability to destroy your right to live by taxing your income which would force you out of existence. If your income is taxed at 1,000% how can you provide food, shelter, clothing, water, for yourself? or family?

    Want to know more? - see taxrevolt dot us

  • PaulinMO
    July 1, 2010 10:07 a.m.

    Sorry to rain on your anti-smoker parade folks but there has been a marked increase of NY 'statue of liberty' car license plates at smoke shops out here. One young black man who had his trunk and back seat filled with cartons told me, "That there is a years grad school tuition at Columbia." but before he drove away he remarked, "Gotta love that blind (word for fornication) of a governor and our shem mayor."
    Raise your taxes if you must but only men like this, ACS, ALA, & AHA will profit.
    Google epstien acs nci and look up cancergate.
    The war on cancer was declared in 1971 & we're losing in spite the halving of the smoking rate.

  • 42istheanswer
    July 1, 2010 9:09 a.m.

    Who cares? We have had cheaper taxes than most of the surrounding states for years. If the predominant religion was not LDS, there would be no call of discrimination. It would be a health & fiscal issue, like in every other state.

  • RobertBennett
    July 1, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    Take that smokers.

  • Pagan
    July 1, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    Correct me if I am wrong but does Utah have state run smoke shops?

    If this is not the case, I would say it is the next logical step.

    For, just as with alchohol, tabacco is viewed as a 'morally' offensive thing...

    while being perfectly legal.

    So, as Utah has state-run liquor stores....

    I would think state-run smoke shops are the next step.

    Utah, being a pillar of morality and all...

    I wonder when the state will receive tax money from adult, online material?

    'Utah No. 1 in online porn subscriptions...' - By Elaine Jarvik - 03/03/09 - DSNews

  • Not So Good
    July 1, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    We're lightweights compared to a lot of other states. $4.35 in New York? Seriously?

  • protect
    July 1, 2010 8:25 a.m.

    I have two daughters who have smoked for over 10 years that have quit with their husbands this past year. They had wanted to for a long time but the cost of the product finally became the deciding factor. I believe the tax works from what I have observed.

  • Hutterite
    July 1, 2010 8:25 a.m.

    Yes, increase taxes. And yes, people will still smoke, and drink. Some are too lazy, as is stated above, to go out of state to purchase. However they will pay delivery charges to those of us who do go out of state and buy these items for them. Increased prohibition and tax differential from state to state is good for business, in my case. As long as these products are legal here, taxation is just smoke and mirrors.

  • Brave Sir Robin
    July 1, 2010 8:25 a.m.

    Re: Pyrate Fan

    "The worst thing about this tax hike is not the price increase, but the fact that government is legislating morals."

    Huh? I hate to rain on your parade here, but the sole purpose of law (and therefore, government) is to legislate morals.

    A long time ago, your government made stealing illegal. Why? Because some government body decided that stealing is wrong. Same thing with assault, murder, rape, tax evasion, fraud, drunk driving, child porn, etc.....somewhere, sometime, somebody decided that those things are wrong (or in other words, that they are immoral).

    If you really favor a government that does not legislate morality, what you are really saying is you favor a government that does not govern, and therefore has no reason to exist.

  • Pyrate Fan
    July 1, 2010 7:36 a.m.

    The worst thing about this tax hike is not the price increase, but the fact that government is legislating morals. Have we learned nothing from History, especially as recent as Prohibition?

    In regards to E. Klinche's comments, mention is made of the Word of Wisdom. Well, if we're going to parade Church doctrine, what about Free Agency? It says in the scriptures that Satan's plan was to impose his will on everyone, so that everyone would return to the presence of the Father. But that was NOT God's will. Our Father intended that we be able to make our own decisions, and that we would have to live with the consequences of those decisions. They said "too many smokers!" I say there are too many people trying to control others' lives, instead of trying to perfect themselves! Don't be a hypocrite!

  • John Charity Spring
    July 1, 2010 7:31 a.m.

    We have reached a point at which scientific advances have proven the dangers of tobacco use. No reasonable person can deny that tobacco use is not only deadly, it creates huge health care costs that are imposed on the rest of society.

    As the map accompanying this story shows, Utah is not even close to having high taxes on cigarettes. Indeed, Utah is behind the curve when it comes to protecting the health of its citizens by discouraging tobacco use.

    The primary purpose of government is to protect the public welfare. If our legislatures had real courage, they would not stop at raising the tobacco tax, they would outlaw this dangerous product entirely.

  • Bruce Fox
    July 1, 2010 7:19 a.m.

    I have rarely, in over 40 years of smoking, bought product at the corner store. How many corner stores still exist? I budget tobacco like food, buy it all at once each month. I go where the price is best.

    Granted I live in Indianapolis, Indiana and have no idea what conditions are in your local.

    I started making my own smokes after the S-CHIP tax increase and returned to local, within state, retailers.

    Tobacco grows like a weed in this state and in many others.

    I do not understand legislators who can not connect the dots between tobacco sales and high health care costs. How many former smokers are now taking prescribed drugs to cope with daily life. Tobacco costs the customer directly, prescribed drugs are paid for by the insured group. Smokers make their own decisions. Prescribed drug users need sanctions from medical doctors and pharmacies.

    Who, actually, has a vested interest in tobacco taxes and smoking bans. Not just the anti-smokers. Every tobacco tax increase is accompanied by an escalation of mental health care drugs and "professional" fees.

  • woodysworld
    July 1, 2010 6:45 a.m.

    The sponsor of the bill has chosen to risk the State of Utah being addicted to the money over his own wants of a prohibition of tobacco.
    So if people quit where will the education money come from? If they buy out of state where will the money come from? Taxing tobacco is one thing, tying it to education was just vote extortion.
    Drugs are expensive and that war isn't being won with young or old. The more the tax goes up the more we force this business underground.

  • Esquire
    July 1, 2010 6:19 a.m.

    Not as many as you think will go out of state to buy cigarettes. It will happen some when people travel, but otherwise, they are too lazy, plus the trip adds to the cost of the product. Smoking is a health menace, and there is no sympathy from me on higher taxes to discourage consumption. We tax to encourage and discourage behavior all the time, so the concept of a higher tax to discourage smoking is perfectly appropriate.

  • Anne
    July 1, 2010 6:00 a.m.

    The excuse for raising taxes on cigarettes is for our health benefit. Don't they realize that by doing so, and if people quit, they won be getting the tax money or smokers will find other places to get their cigarettes cheper. True its no good to start but I wonder if kids will then go into smoking other "stuff", especially since they are making "medical marijuana" legal. I'm sure there are other "unnecessary" evils that they can find to tax.

  • E. Klinche
    July 1, 2010 5:19 a.m.

    Way too many smokers. What a waste of breath and time and money. Taxing it is good.
    Another residual effect might be an increase of pot smoker, or cannabis consumption.

    How many Utahns smoke marijuana?

    Incidentally, the use of marijuana increases the likelihood of psychosis by 6 times, scientists say. So, is marijuana non-damaging and permissable in a free society? As free as insanity.

    The Word of Wisdom is so right, I wish Utah and other states would adhere to it more.

    Tobacco, like Joseph Smith revealed, is for curative purposes. Not regular consumption.

    Someday it will be gone from everyday use. Good riddance. Get rid of addictive chemicals.

  • David B.
    July 1, 2010 4:39 a.m.

    You dumb polilticians don't you get it.Everytime you get a bug up somewhere and raise the cig tax or any other tax you put somebody out of a job or close a business! Instead why don't you cut your moronic spending habits because of your power trip.
    WE the people are so over taxed now the whole country is at risk of going under.

  • My2Cents
    July 1, 2010 4:33 a.m.

    This is the most discriminatory and hateful tax they ever came up with. It's a tax to punish and discriminate for no crimes ever being committed. Hate and misinformation and deception and greed is the only purpose of this tax. It is an unfair hateful tax burden on too few people out of lies and hate. We have already seen these righteous individuals scream bloody murder at the suggestion of a soda pop tax, the real danger to their health.

    What they hope to get, the $43 million will blowup in their faces then what are the legislators going to do with another tax loss? The budget has been planned around it but don't count on it. If they struggled with a few million dollars shortfall what are they going to do with a $30 million shortfall?