Arguing the case for tobacco taxes

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  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 5:20 p.m.

    It would be even better if the hypocrites would use the tax revenues for health related issues like they were suppose to. It isn't about how many people die. It is another way to judge others and make some money at the same time. In Utah, it is even worse. Those of us that smoke know very well how little people actually care about your health. They are to busy placing judgement on you. Yes, smoking isn't good, but stop with the self ritcheousness. It is enough to make anybody have an upset stomach

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2012 4:00 p.m.

    Taxing tobacco is a "sin tax". It is popular because many people think that smokers should be punished for being stupid enough to smoke when evidence clearly shows that smoking is harmful.

    Being "stupid" is not the reason that taxes are levied.

    Government has no constitutional mandate to provide health care for anyone - smoker or non-smoker. Stating that the public somehow pays for the costs involved in smoking is only admitting that government has overstepped its authority and involved itself in "personal welfare".

    The costs of smoking are not something that the government has to worry about and it is not something that any non-smoker has to worry about. Those costs must be borne, in totality, by the smoker.

    If you think that government has the right to tell you what to do, then you will gladly accept government mandated menus, government mandated exercise programs, government mandates daily schedules, government mandated education, government mandated EVERYTHING.

    We are not accountable to government. We are accountable to our Creator. Government did not give us life. That gift came from God. No matter how we choose to live our lives, government has no authority to establish "sin taxes".

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 3, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    Don't tax tobacco, just let smokers be responsible for their own health problems and expenses. It's not like we don't already know smoking is detrimental to your health. Smokers all over will will say, "I know this is bad for me, but I'm going to do it anyway." That's fine, just don't come looking for sympathy when you're breathing through your neck.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    Taxing cigarettes as a means of reducing consumption and offsetting health care costs is a bit hypocritical. It might make a bit more sense if we had a single payer health care system. But still, either the product is legal or it isn't. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    This is the one tax increase I wholeheartedly support. Excellent article by Mr. Reynolds. As a conservative, I think increasing our tobacco tax dramatically makes excellent sense in all areas and I have had trouble understanding why many conservatives continuously do try to oppose tobacco tax increases. One possible reason is that Kentucky, North Carolina, and regional states are big tobacco states and also happen to lean Republican and conservatives want to support a big industry in those states (buy votes). This is an area where conservatives should put principle above politics. As stated in the article and above, there are definite public health benefits and tax revenue benefits, but the biggest benefit of all is to the many smokers who will quit with higher taxes and improve their own health immensely.

    Another note on conservative thought. We generally like less government, but in this case the government is already involved heavily in health care (and unlikely to decrease). When this is the case, it makes much more sense that those who utilize the services (more health care through smoking-related illnesses) pay for that utilization with taxes. Even as conservatives, some taxes do make sense.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    As obesity seems to be rising as smoking declines, we have to wonder, how many traded their smokes for big gulps?

  • mcdugall Layton, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    Now on to solving the next big health epidemic, obesity, time to start targeting tax policy at the fast food and high calorie beverage industry.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Oct. 3, 2012 7:18 a.m.

    There is no problem arguing for higher tobacco taxes, it's a simple fix that really works. The problem is arguing for higher tobacco taxes from a conservative stand point. The idea is primarily a liberal concept, heck it has all the things liberals love, we get to use "big government" to "socially engineer" behavior, and the "nanny state" gets to "raise taxes".

    I look forward to more left leaning articles editorials from the DNews in the future!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 2:58 a.m.

    Tobacco taxes are probably the only taxes that directly benefit the person being taxed.