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Herald-Mail Forums

February 05, 2007

Last week's question:

Some Maryland lawmakers want to double the state's $1-a-pack cigarette tax to fund health care. Is that a good idea or is there a better source of cash?

· If the money actually went to fund health care, that would be great. However, most people know that won't happen; it will be squandered away on some pork-barrel project.

· Sure. Why not double it? Kids are already stealing money from their mothers' purses to buy the things. Now they can mug little old ladies. A better source of cash is the slot machines; those areas don't have problems with revenue. Check out the Maryland cars sitting in Charles Town, W.Va.

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I have yet to see one study on second-hand smoke. Sure they say it exists, but why has it never been published?

· Stupid deal. Again, lawmakers are doing another dumb move. What's next? How about writing more speeding tickets and using that money for health care? Why should I be taxed to pay for welfare? I pay my own medical at more than $200 a week. What they want to do is not going to lower my medical bills. What they want is the money to build the new hospital. I say a big "NO" to more taxes.

· While the cigarette tax isn't going to affect my day-to-day life, as I do not smoke, what I'm seeing is the beginning of a tax on just about everything that ISN'T located in the produce department of the grocery store. Alcohol, take-out, candy - when is enough enough? Pass slot machines so Marylanders who want to spend the money on them aren't doing so in West Virginia or in OTB parlors in Pennsylvania. Don't open the floodgates for taxing everything but the blood in our veins.

· One good way to raise money, increase the health of Americans everywhere would be to make the tax on cigarettes $10 a pack. People would stop smoking and those who didn't would help fund a tremendous budget surplus that could go to providing health care for everyone. But this will never happen because....it makes sense, and when have you ever seen a lawmaker, congressman or senator make sense?

· It's not a good idea, it's a great idea. I don't smoke.

· Taxes are too high now. Smokers will just go to another state that sells them cheaper. Enough said.

· I would not mind paying $1 a pack more but the last time they raised the tax it was for a stop- smoking campaign.

The only thing I saw was a box of fliers in 7-Eleven and that only lasted for about a year until everyone got used to paying the higher price. Where is the money going now? If the government can give me a good accounting of the money already collected, I might consider it. Until then, I say no go! It will end up like the motel/hotel tax, lost in the sewer of goverment. I do smoke.

· There is some logic in wanting to increase the tax on cigarettes to pay for health care. It may help smokers to slow down in their smoking and avoid lung cancer. But then again, people who smoke to decrease stress around them might be smoking because of the high taxes and other stressors caused by the politics of this country.

· Smokers increase health-care premiums across the board for everyone, because they can incur more claims than a non-smoker. I find it reasonable that a cigarette tax can help fund health care.

· Judging by these responses, you see that such a tax would cause most cigarette addicts to deprive themselves of other things to feed their need - just as other addicts do with various substances. Instead of an astronomical tax on the consumer, which also penalizes the producer and retailer, there should be an astronomical difference in the health-care premiums between smokers and non-smokers if it is true that smoking increases the cost of health care.

· What about all the fat people or the ones with genetic defects that predispose them to sickness? Should we all be tested for these defects and be charged according to our chances of getting sick? I don't think! If you don't like your health care, find another employer. As it looks now, I am going to have to find another doctor because my present provider won't take BC/BS. It's great to live in the "fee state" of Maryland.

· Bad idea. People will just cross state lines to buy them.

· If someone wants something bad enough, they'll go anywhere and do pretty much anything to get it. I'm just concerned that we're heading for that "Demolition Man" society where anything not expressly good for you is "bad"- as in illegal. It's a pretty safe bet that if the government can't tax our vices, they'll just find new and innovative ways to essentially outlaw them.

· Well, I have made my decision. I am going to start growing pot in my basement and smoke that, because I don't have to pay taxes on it, It's for personal use only. Now I am against using drugs, But I am also for natural herbs and from what I have read pot is a natural herb. So goodby, cancer sticks.

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