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Tax the Smokers (Rough Draft)
Tax the Smokers (Rough Draft)
Tax the smokers, tax the smokers, tax the smokers, tax the smokers, tax the smokers is what I have been seeing and hearing now for more than two solid years. What’s even worse than that is that I hear people say they want to tax smokers because smoker’s and the people who have to take in their second hand smoke are racking up some abnormally large medical bills. Is this true, are smokers the cause of all these medical problems? Is there nothing else done within society that causes stress on the government because the side effects result in the need of medical attention? What does the government do with all the money they are robbing from smokers? These three questions are on my mind on a daily basis and they are the focus of this writing.
A lot of landlords will not allow smoking in apartment buildings anymore because of the risk of fire. I know that tobacco companies are required to use the papers that will cause a cigarette to stop burning after 30 seconds of non-activity, but I can also assure you that this does not decrease the possibility of fire. It decreases the possibility of someone falling asleep with a cigarette in their hand and thus having that cigarette keep burning to the point that a fire results. Stubbing a cigarette out in an ashtray can cause the filters to burn which possesses a nonstop threat of fire. Even with the new papers, fires can still break out from careless smokers.
The new papers do reduce the risk of fire and the fact that landlords won’t allow smoking within their apartments also reduces the amount of people taking in the second hand smoke. Reduction to fire and reduction to second hand smoke is a reduction in repair costs and medical costs to landlords and nonsmokers. Smokers having to smoke outside also reduces the amount of smoke they inhale because they are not remaining in a building that is filled with smoke which in turn, reduces the amount of medical attention they will need.
Now we have public smoking bans This actually forces some people to only be able to smoke inside which then creates an increased amount of smoke inhalation because they have to live where they smoke. This will cause an increase in smokers suffering from medical problems at an increased rate. Telling smokers to smoke outside because of health reasons and then banning them from being able to smoke outside is very hypocritical (This is something that will be occurring a lot).
Now we run into the actual cigarette tax. What is it for and who does it go to? Well we have discussed the fact that smoking can affect other peoples health as well as cause damage to buildings. I did however point out that this problem is not as great today as it was ten or more years ago though because we have new precautions in place that did not exist previously.
This leaves open the intention that cigarette taxes are meant to be used to cover the increased health costs that smokers suffer from. How much of this money is given back to smokers when they do suffer from these health problems? The truth is, smokers don’t just have to pay outrageous amounts in taxes, they still have to pay for their own health care plans. If the government was smart, they would make smokers register. After they register, smokers can send in quarterly or yearly accounts of what they have paid in cigarette taxes. If they pay in a certain amount per year, then there should be a special medical plan they are given designed specifically for the fact they are a smoker. This means smokers wouldn’t mind such an outrageous cigarette tax because they wouldn’t have to kick out $100 or more a month in additional insurance costs.
Such a smoking plan will never exist though and the reason that is is very simple; a lot of the costly problems in this country have nothing to do with smoking at all but politicians don’t have the guts to add taxes to the other products that cause those problems.
Sexual activity is something that causes a lot of health problems in an individualized sense. Sex also causes problems in a social sense due to the creation and rapid spreading of STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases), jealousy which can cause extremes such as murder or multiple murders (yes, there are such things as detectives who only investigate sexually based crimes because of the high volume of them), as well as the production of children that the parents are not mature enough or generally capable of taking care of which then forces the government to pick up the tab.
Sexual activity causes wide spread damage throughout every community in the country much more so than you get from smokers and second hand smoke. The problem is, the government shows favoritism. I should have the right to smoke since the government allows so many people to have sex without doing anything to restrict sexual activity. Do you see outrageous taxes on condoms or birth control? Nope, and I can guarantee you that you never will. Will you ever see someone fined for having sex without using a method of birth control? Nope, even most people who get caught having sex in public won’t get anything more than a warning. If you toss a cigarette butt out a car window some police will pull you over and issue you a fine. If you smoke when you are not old enough the police are given the power to issue a fine for it. Sex causes just as many, if not more problems in society than cigarettes do and yet the government attacks the smokers.
Smoking is the only flaw that I have. I don’t drink and I don’t sleep around. I waited till I was 24 before ever even dating at all. Everyone I know, including my girlfriend has had sex with at least two or more people and some of the people I know have had sex with more than five hundred different people by the time they even reach the age of 30. Do you see the government doing anything to them? I have lived a pretty honorable life and as a result, I suffer from it much more greatly than virtually everyone else in society and so do a lot of smokers in general. Smoking is my stress relief while other people choose to have sex as a stress relief. Both cause significant health problems and yet it is the smokers that have to pay for it.
Alcohol causes health problems as well as increased costs from vehicle accidents. Police need to be involved more with those accidents which takes time as well as the victims need to have medical attention. Alcohol causes serious problems which results in not only the death of the people who drink but normally results in the death of people who do not drink. Do people who drink have to suffer from an alcohol tax like smokers do their cigarette tax? I work in a store that sells alcohol and cigarettes, I know full well that the taxes on alcohol is absolutely nothing compared to the taxes on cigarettes I have never had a person complain to me about the cost of alcohol but I do get at least five people per night that complain about the price of cigarettes.
The truth probably lies within the fact that the consumption rate is significantly lower with cigarettes than it is with alcohol or sexual activity. People probably smoke between half a pack to one full pack of cigarettes a day (some more and some less) while people who drink will consume more than a 6-pack per day (maybe slightly more and some will consume much less). People who drink normally drink more than people who smoke and some people who drink also smoke when they drink even though they don’t normally smoke or do regularly smoke. This means that alcohol would bring in a much higher revenue if they added more taxes to it. The government would love the increased money but they know it would cause a lot of problems.
Problems or not, fair is fair. If you are going to tax something because it causes problems within society then you need to tax everything that causes those problems. Taxing cigarettes more than alcohol and condoms is merely stating that you believe cigarettes cause more problems within society than alcohol and reckless sexual activities do. A good 5 times out of 10, smoking causes more problems for the person smoking than it does for people who do not smoke. 9 times out of 10, people who drink or recklessly have sex end up causing problems not only for themselves but those problems have very drastic consequences on millions of other people as well.
It should be unlawful to target one specific group of people when other groups of people cause significantly more damage than the targeted group does. I don’t mind paying for my damage but I am getting to the point where I am developing a hatred for this entire country due to the fact that I am required to pay a heftier price for something that is less harmful than a few other things that people do. Smoking may some day kill me but the odds of it also killing someone else are not as great as if I were running around having sex or drinking every weekend.
Smokers have proven their honor and loyalty not only to the product but to the government as well. Now would be a good time to test the loyalty of the other groups. Toss them a tax like you have done to us and I will guarantee that they will not have the same loyalty that we do.
Remember that I am not saying cigarette tax should be removed, I am simply saying that you can’t just tax cigarettes without taxing the other products as well. Divide the current cigarette tax amongst alcohol, cigarettes, condoms and whatever else causes serious problems so that the burden does not just sit on the shoulders of one third of Americans to pay for the recklessness of the whole country.
7/3/2006 4:27 pm
THANK YOU!!! I 'm so glad somebody said something finally in our defence. It's about damn time we have the chance to be heard. Our rights are being constantly taken away and we're being treated like heathens. I belong to the Grange here in Vermont and have wrote a resolution about the rights of smokers. And as the grange does a lot with the legislature, I hope it will make an impact. If nothing else, to get people thinking. Thought is where it starts. Awsome blog.|