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View Diary: SCHIP: The GOP Campaign Against Children (312 comments)

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  •  Once upon a time, I agreed with you, DemFromCT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark27

    It seemed only common sense to  me to tax cigarrette sales to fund public health programs and other social services.

    Now, I'm not so sure.

    By and large, in America these days, who smokes? It's poor people. It's disproportionately poor, disadvantaged teens and adults who make up   America's tobacco addicts.

    So, what are you accomplishing, when  you tax an already-poor demographic? Besides getting your revenue, you're  severely compounding human suffering.

    You want to tax tobacco? Go after the evil tobacco companies--not individual smokers.

    •  A lot of times... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, Mark27, karmsy

      ...anti-smokers act like it's still the 50's.

      You pretty much can't smoke in restaurants anymore in most states. Same for bars or any public building. There's no smoking at the workplace outside of the small group huddled 25 feet from the entrance. In many cities you can't even smoke in public parks or public land.

      Yet some still act like smokers are in their face every time they leave the door. I have a friend like that. He'll walk a 30 foot circle around a smoker, basically almost making a big show of it, like holding his breath for 5 feet past the smoker is too much for him, let alone her right to smoke in a public place (far away from any doors or entrances-in an open side alley between two stores).

      Sometimes in a relatively free society people are allowed to do stupid shit to themselves. I don't think that the smoking laws are unjust but I just ask for some to look at the over the topness of their anti-smoking positions.

      We gave you a chance, you betrayed us.-Cindy Sheehan

      by Zero Carb Rob on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 09:18:46 AM PDT

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      •  were it not for the economic and health damages (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mcfly, wilderness voice

        I could see the point.

        The total cost of caring for people with health problems caused by cigarette smoking -- counting all sources of medical payments -- is about $72.7 billion per year, according to health economists at the University of California.

        The figure is almost six times higher than the cost per year of smoking-related Medicaid payments alone, reported last spring by the same Berkeley and UCSF economists.

        The new total estimate "translates the adverse health effects (of smoking) into dollar terms, the universal language of decision makers," said the analysis published today in Public Health Reports. All payments made in 1993 by Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration medical programs, military medical programs, private health insurance companies and out-of-pocket payments were analyzed for that fraction of illness caused by cigarette smoking. By comparison, the March report counted only the cost of smoking-related Medicaid payments -- $12.9 billion that year.

        http://www.berkeley.edu/...

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 09:29:23 AM PDT

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        •  I would say (0+ / 0-)

          the health damages from soda and junk food are more.

          I also wouldn't have a problem with a tax on those.

        •  Again....You Pretend.... (0+ / 0-)

          ....that those who don't smoke never get sick and live forever.  It's a false premise you're peddling to socially engineer "good behavior" and shift the tax burden off of you and onto the easiest targets possible.  That's not what I signed on for when I joined the Democratic Party.

      •  To a point, I'm for laws (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peglyn

        that protect the rights of non-smokers to breathe clean air. The virtual  ban nowadays on smoking in public indoor spaces bothers me not at all.

        But I agree the stuff about forbidding smoking in city parks may be just a little bit over-the-top, or "Sinapore," for my tastes. You can't really  justify it on the grounds of a fire hazzard. And clean air? Feh, I'm a nonsmoker, and I've figured out not to spread my picnic blanket downwind of people who are puffing. Not too difficult, really, since we are talking about an outdoor space. I mean, are they going to ban eating in parks next, because some people leave candy bar wrappers?

        •  well, to a point I'll tolerate cigarette smoke (0+ / 0-)

          but balancing SCHIP passage vs cig tax wibns out for SCHIP.

          City parks? All politics is local. Doesn't bother me either way.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 10:40:26 AM PDT

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