Comments about ‘My view: Utah's children are not up for sale’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

I never agree with a food tax increase. However tobacco is overly taxed. So to relax the tax is fine. Smokeless tobacco is not as bad as smoking. Why? Because it only hurts the person chewing. Smokers spew out 2nd hand smoke. Chewer's simply spew. So, yes, chewing is better, if you want to compare and rate garbage.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

I've heard from "dippers" that smokeless tobacco is extremely hard to give up. If you've ever been around users its one of the filthiest habits imaginable, I can't believe Utah legislators would encourage its use.

vern001
Castle Rock, CO

Smokeless tobacco hurts more than just the person chewing. When that person develops oral and esophageal cancer, guess who pays the bills? Either the taxpayer if the person is on Medicare or Medicaid, or other insurance holders if the person has private insurance.

High taxes on tobacco have greatly reduced tobacco consumption in this country, saved money, and saved thousands and thousands of lives.

There is no good reason to reduce those taxes.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Midvaliean,

I disagree that tobacco is overly taxed, but the rest of your post is a riot. Too funny.

Chris Price
London, 00

"Modern epidemiologic studies reveal that the oral cancer risks from snus use in Sweden and from moist snuff and chewing tobacco use in the U.S. are so small that they cannot be measured with any precision."
Prof B Rodu - the world's leading authority on the oral pathology of tobacco consumption.

There seems to be some disagreement between the world's leading authority in this field and the author. Professor Bradu's opinion is that the elevation of absolute risk of at least some types of oral tobacco products for mouth cancer is of the order of 1% or so, and when compared to smoking is not even visible. Perhaps the author would like to produce the evidence to correct him.

one old man
Ogden, UT

"Cancel your date with lung cancer -- make one with oral cancer instead."

But thank you, DN, for finally publishing an item that tells some of the terrible truth about the American Legislative Exchange Council -- or ALEC -- an insidious organization that includes most of our state legislature as loyal members.

MattZuke
TACOMA, WA

"I've heard from "dippers" that smokeless tobacco is extremely hard to give up. "

This much is true.

"If you've ever been around users its one of the filthiest habits imaginable"

Not really, there are disolvable solutions, and there is no measurable increase in common cancers with products like Swedish Snus.

"I can't believe Utah legislators would encourage its use"

I can't believe citizens in Utah would rather people smoke cigarettes, but I guess ciggie taxes do pay the bills.

Here's how it works, you have heroin addicts. You can't say they're not bad people because heroin users contribute to a ton of crime to support their habit. In Utah we have Project Reality, it get's heroin junkies hooked on methadone. A lifetime of methadone use is a net win over heroin. Methadone is far from safe, and it even gets you high, just not so high you can't have a job.

Smoking is considered more addictive than heroin, and kills roughly 1% of it's users per year. Nicotine does not even in smokeless tobacco. But somehow heroin users are entitled to harm reduction, but smokers are expect to quit or die.

MattZuke
TACOMA, WA

"Cancel your date with lung cancer -- make one with oral cancer instead"

Again, smoking is FAR more likely to contribute to oral cancer, but if the risk was equal, and 100% of the population used smokeless tobacco, the tobacco related mortality rate would drop by over 360,000.

Roughly 400,000 smokers drop dead every year, with roughly 1/3 from lung cancer, roughly 1/3 from heart disease. Oral cancers in total represent around 8000 fatalities per year, roughly 6500 from SMOKING. Given there has been no change in SMOKING cessation in the past 10 years according to the CDC, it's time Utah faces reality, and a 98% reduction in harm to sane people is a good thing.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Tax tobacco...

but not billionaires.

Pick a standard.

debbieg
Chicopee, MA

"High taxes on tobacco have greatly reduced tobacco consumption in this country"
Actually according to the CDC tobacco consumption rates have changed in at least 5yrs. Maybe if the money from this "sin tax" were actually used for what it should be that would be the case. Lowering the tax on smokeless and other harm reduction products would do more to lower the smoking rate than to increase it. If you had a choice between a more expensive, more dangerous product or a cheaper less dangerous product which would you choose? A better way to keep tobacco out of the hands of minors would be to actually enforce the 18+ to buy law. Not all smokeless tobacco is "dip or chew". There are safer alternatives out there and adult smokers should be given the choice. Taxing them at the same rate gives them little to no incentive to switch.

debbieg
Chicopee, MA

So you would rather people continue to smoke? By raising the tax rate on smokeless tobacco you are doing more harm than good.
If given the choice between a more expensive, more dangerous product or a less expensive, less harmful one, which would you choose?
Adults smokers deserve to have the right to choose-the "quit or die trying" approach isn't working.
Also, maybe if the 18 and over to buy law where enforced more, less minors would have access to tobacco products-it has nothing to with how much they cost and more to do with how easily they can get it.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Chris Price,

I cannot speak for Professor Rodu, but in the US the National Institute for Health certainly thinks that oral cancer from smokeless tobacco is a problem.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Why does the tobacco industry receive $250 Million a year in Subsidies,
and Republicans remian silent?

one old man
Ogden, UT

OMM, surely you know the answer to your question.

It's called "payoffs." That's another word for Bribes.

1conservative
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Why does the tobacco industry receive $250 million a year in subsidies and DEMOCRATS remain silent?

sorry "open minded mormon" its' not a partisan issue.

Rather, that particular subsidy is related to the political clout of states like ohio, iowa, and, to a lesser extent Virginia.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

1conservative
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
Why does the tobacco industry receive $250 million a year in subsidies and DEMOCRATS remain silent?

=========

3 things...

1. Republicans (espicially TeaParty types) go on and on, day after day about Government spending. I'm just asking - why the free pass on tabacco? Why the double standard?

2. "Liberal" Democrat States have passed laws, restriciting the use of Food Stamps for alcohol and tobacco products. Why doesn't Utah, and other Republican States do likewise?

3. Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) introduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act, S. 194, just 4 days ago which would close tax loopholes that allow tobacco companies to avoid the federal cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco tax, by making taxes on pipe tobacco equivalent to cigarette tobacco.

“The current loopholes in the taxes on tobacco products encourage the use of products like pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and 'nicotine candies' as a cheap source of tobacco, particularly among young people,” Durbin said Thursday.

4. and once again, Republicans are remaining silent....

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

The use of tobacco in any form is it's own reward (punishment) and the tax can't be high enough.

As for taking food, quit spending so much money on things the public really doesn't need and you won't need to raise taxes, which are already too high.

I see where a proposed tax on water failed to get out of a legislative committee (that really amazes me!) and remember that we used to joke about taxing the air we breathe. If certain types had their way, we'd be paying taxes on it for sure.

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