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Will Tax Help Smokers Quit?

Health & Wellness  (tags: health, smoking, addictions, risks, disease, illness, death, warning )

- 3474 days ago -
On April 1st, a federal excise tax on tobacco and supplies, such as rolling papers, will increase to help expand the Children's Health Insurance Program.


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Dee C (23)
Monday April 13, 2009, 8:02 am
"The American Cancer Society estimates four million additional children will receive health insurance coverage because of the tax increase.

Some smokers said the tax won’t cause them to quit. "


Joan Mclaughlin (133)
Monday April 13, 2009, 12:08 pm
I doubt it will work.Just like any other drug ,if someone wants it they will find a way to get it.In the past week alone,there has been 1 break in at a cigarette wholesaler.The money wasn't touched,just the cigarettes.There also have been numerous breakins at small mom and pop stores.The only thing taken was cigarettes and beer.My sister has gone the route of rolling her own to afford it.Treatment programs are needed.Between the economy and this tax,I am afraid for store owners.Look what alcohal does.Will that be outlawed too? Again?This needs to be thought out more intensly.

Dee C (23)
Monday April 13, 2009, 12:15 pm
I agree those for that smoke..some will still continue no matter what..The only good I can see in this is higher taxes that indeed it may discourage some..
Perhaps the only other good thing is for those who are assisted by the state..(medically) there will be more tax money to care for them..
Addiction of anything that can kill or harm you is bad..

Mr Freewater (0)
Monday April 13, 2009, 5:06 pm
All this translates to is a tax on the poor, like any kind of at-the-counter tax.

Gina Benson (2)
Monday April 13, 2009, 6:00 pm
Definately not land of the free, "choice" is in the past. Control is the future! We are all going to be controled sooner than later. Knew this was coming but for god sakes... One who I know purchases Tobacco was $9.00 on Tuesday and Wednesday, the same product was $29.00. That's ridicoulous!, that's greed, that's control and out of control. Now if they did the same to liquor and beer, I don't believe all would be as angered. That would make sense!

I personally do not believe this will work for the better of the United States. I believe this will create and cause more bitterness and more problems for all. more anger, more gun problems, more stealing, more crime, etc. As if we did not have enough to deal with. Slight increase - so soon from last one, may have worked. This time with so much greed for one small group, doute it'll work. What's/who's next???

Laurie W (189)
Monday April 13, 2009, 6:22 pm
Where is the sense? States increase the tax of the selected few who smoke and have dollar signs in their eyes as they state it will help pay for social programs the states can't afford anymore...however on the other hand they blast smokers and say they want everyone to quit...OK and if we all did they would loose the tax money. It's a sin didn't work with prohibition and this wuill backfire on the greed mongers also.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday April 13, 2009, 7:02 pm


(Exhaling . . . It's all -- as most aptly described by Mr. Freewater -- another imposition on the poor . . . yet again, blaming THEM, and taxing THEM, while the producers and profiteers laugh in their mansions.)

Kit B (276)
Monday April 13, 2009, 7:14 pm
Sin tax, how very stupid. Those who choose to smoke will smoke and treating them whether rich or poor as if they are now lesser humans is never the right way to develop change. Thanks for this everyone - control of our habits and our daily lives should be carefully considered.

Sheila G (267)
Monday April 13, 2009, 11:45 pm
ask any addict if they will give up their addiction or pay more. and I am forever pissed off that something this dangerous to a human body is legal in any country, countries that will put you in prison for smoking pot. a cigarette is filled with poison, there is no good to be had from smoking, and it is the most addictive thing I have ever had my hands on. my addiction to nicotine is a daily struggle, I 'quit' a year ago, after more than 35 years of smoking, and have had a smoke here and there since. but I fight the urge, I will definitely not buy one!
this is just another way to take advantage of addiction, the government should be ashamed to have this happen.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday April 13, 2009, 11:53 pm
"Sin tax" works in Canada on alcohol and tobacco.

Dee C (23)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 4:55 am
I don't think its an issue of punishing/blaming the poor with this..Or a control issue either..

Look at the facts of smoking..the causes..I think in some sense this will deter people..well at least some..Especially young people..It is a horrible addiction..costly in more way than just dollars..People die from..children who grow up around smokers have all sorts of health issues..

For those that smoke..regardless if they are rich or poor..I am sure this ticks them all off..however I do think it is done in the best interest of one's health..The choice to smoke or try to quit is always up to each and every person..aside from helping an already over-extended health care system in the State funded..It is an incentive..Some with quit..some won't..

I can remember a few people saying "when cigarettes go up to $3.00 a pack..that's it I'm quitting..Some did and some didn't..


Laurie W (189)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 8:07 am
you said...' I do think it is done in the best interest of one's health'....really ? If that was the case then why don't they increase the taxes on alcohol products ? Why not increase taxes on other products that cause health concerns. Less smokers than drinkers so it was an easier sale..and people would scream if fast foods,sugar ladden treats,etc were taxed higher.
First of all it's still a legal product. It may be "my" thing but the majority of individuals have something they crave. It's all a matter of control by big brother. They do not care about our health issues or we would have national health care. This is just a smoke screen if you will forgive the pun...Too much sun can cause skin cancer...if a person is diagnosed will we now charge them for their exposing themselves to this risk...
Personally I want the government out of my bedroom, life choices and my spiritual beliefs.

Dee C (23)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 8:24 am
Well Laurie..we will just have to respectfully agree to disagree on this issue..

Don't know about more drinkers than smokers but regardless..but I do believe they did raise the taxes on some alcohol beverages too..I know they did beer..And you are right about they should tax that as well..

As far as taxing or controlling who goes in the sun or not..that..well that's just silly..Though one should have the better sense not to burn and risk skin cancer..It is all a choice..No one has taken away anyone's choice to smoke.. But I do believe because the State does carry the cost of people dying from lung cancer..and other diseases caused from smoking..and certainly the ill effect it has on children with second hand smoke..they do have a sound and good reason to tax it..I disagree it is a smokescreen..Good pun by the way..

We are free to risk our lives anyway we wish to..Just seems silly to me that one would choose to do so..
But we can choose..that is our freedom..


Laurie W (189)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 9:01 am
Dee...yes we can all respectfully agree to disagree....
Silly...yes that's a good word for how obsessed we are with one product and it's health issues when our SILLY government dumped tons of chemicals on the land,people and soilders in the sixties...pushes massive drugs stamped with an FDA approval as DU cirles the globe over our heads....

Pamylle G (461)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 9:03 am

Dee C (23)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 10:26 am
I'm not sure what any of that has to do with this issue..and really see no point in responding to any of it..

I do wonder though when two people disagree on one thing..why they need to drag in everything but the kitchen sink to use as some kind of a debate..

Bottom line is anyone who wishes to smoke can do so..Hopefully..and I do say hopefully this may help some to make the difficult choice to stop is after all better for them..I don't thin anyone would argue that fact..Doesn't mean they have to or want to stop..and certainly they don't have to..

I personally know of 9 people who have stopped since these outrageous price hikes and now this recent tax hike..And for the most part they are happy and glad they have stopped..I say most part because for some the addiction is/was so bad that in as much as wanting to stop is extremely difficult..and though they are still trying it is a daily struggle for them..


Mark G (36)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 10:56 am
I don't smoke, but I wish the government would get the heck out of people's personal life. Next they can raise the tax on chocolate cake, because it makes you fat. My gosh folks the government is trying to control everything we do, and it is getting worse. The goevernment is just a corrupt as any corporation, but we let them get away with it because they tell is they are doing it for society's good. It is scary.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 11:02 am

Well, in all honesty, I do sometimes think that excessive taxes based on issues like smoking -- which, yes, we all have to agree, is a bad habit and contributes to medical problems -- are emphasized in order to detract from MUCH larger, MORE serious issues . . . such as money spent (hundreds of billions) and lives lost due to war, after effects of products used to further wars (such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs), PTSD, FDA-approved (multi-million dollar industry) drugs to manage "manufactured diseases", which eventually are proven to be addictive and have side effects WORSE than the disorder they are promoted to aleve (and mind you, they usually only concentrate on lessening SYMPTOMS, not a cure).

And if these points seem to be a deviation from the subject matter, perhaps, the arguments are justifiable "eye-openers" trying to redirect your attention to the "gorilla in the gym."

Estella Ameigh (22)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 12:33 pm
This is an unfair tax no matter what kind of good you think the money collected will do. I have never smoked, but have seen the struggles of those
trying to quit the addiction. I have also seen women putting milk for the children back on the shelves because they couldn't afford their husband's cigarettes and the milk. If the husband becomes abusive without the cigarettes it is sometimes more of a threat to the children in those homes
than the children going without their milk. The whole situation stinks and
the women and children living on very low incomes to begin with will be some
of the ones who suffer the most from more unfair takes.

Nancy M (168)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 12:38 pm
I think it is a good thing. If you make it expensive enough, then people won't START!

But "Just Carole" you are correct that it is part of making sure we "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain".

I also don't understand why people think it is a tax on the poor. Are you saying only the poor smoke?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 12:51 pm

I'm not saying only the poor smoke, but I AM saying that it will be a bigger burden to them, and unjustly. Ya know, there are many vegans/vegetarians out there who would feel that an exorbitant tax on meat would be justifiable, and could find plenty of statistics to support it.

And then, we could talk (as has been mentioned already) about the epidemic of obesity -- should we proportionately tax overweight people because of their burden on subsidized medical care?

Then, of course, we have old people, who use much more medical aid than younger citizens.

Cigarettes and other tobacco products have always been considered to be "luxury" products and have NEVER been subsidized, although food and medicine (both of which are also abused -- in many ways, such as bad nutritional choices, illegal sales of food stamps, abuse/resale of medications) are.

Where do you draw the line?

Nancy M (168)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 1:00 pm
I have said all those things about sales tax in general and the "flat tax" for the income tax. I had forgetton about that for cigarettes and for that matter alcohol and gasoline. We don't see that tax in the retail price. But yes, tax gasoline because people should walk or ride their bikes to work. Noone would agree with that. As for meat- it is expensive enough already.

In any case, yes, it is part of the beat done the porr and blame on themselves mentality that has been part of the US since Reagan.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 1:04 pm

The following is part of a recent post at my personal blog on a thread addressing this issue, which really got me to thinking about this:

"THE most regressive tax in U.S. history
And it was passed by a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress at the same time that they were giving trillions of dollars to the richest of the rich, the wall street financiers and big bankers, and increasing the defense budget to finance wars based on lies.

It isn't just cigarette taxes that have been increased--as I posted earlier, the tax on rolling tobacco has been increased by two thousand one hundred and fifty-nine percent (2,159%).

There is not a single rich or middle class person in the United States who rolls their own tobacco, although many wealthy people smoke, including those who smoke expensive cigars. Some working class people roll their own cigarettes to save money, although most simply don't have the time. The tax on rolling tobacco is directed against the poorest of the poor, primarily the homeless of whom many are military veterans. They smoke to ease the stress of their lives, help cope with PTSD, and to ward off hunger pangs."

Nancy M (168)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 1:06 pm
Sounds like we should be taxing all those illegal Cuban cigars that Rush and company have been smoking!

And you are right, the little that comes in won't matter that much in terms of child health care.

Laurie W (189)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 2:06 pm
We should also not forget that tobacco has been part of the native American culture and used in taxing a product they use in their religion by 2,159% is acceptable. Wonder if other religions would find the same tax table applied to them to be justified.Poor, the homeless- be they veterans or not have no clout.
Your comments Carole are right on the mark...which easy target will we tax next. It is the action being used and not the product.
The less products sold ( tobacco,rolling papers) the less money goes into the Children's Health Insurance Program. Does this mean if everyone quit smoking they want the poorest of our children to go without health care? Or would some prefer smokers think less of their own health and more for the children and continue to pay for this extreme tax to save a about obscene reasoning.

Nancy M (168)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 2:36 pm
BTW, my grandfather, a lifelong smoker, died of lung cancer when I was very young. Noone in the family smokes and because of that I have no problem with that type of "sin tax". You all have raised excellent points and I agree with what you are saying. Thanks.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 3:12 pm

It just seems that smokers are the new pariahs . . . the only group it is still politically correct to persecute.

As I said, I can't condone smoking -- and would never encourage it to anyone -- but, for heaven's sake, enuff!

. (0)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 4:07 pm
I plan to grow tobacco, it is cheap and easy to do.
I hope more smokers learn to grow.
You won't be getting any taxes from me.

Tierney G (381)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 7:28 pm
Smoking is a tough addiction to quit. If this does stop anyone it won't be for long. It usually takes more than one try. Have you seen the air in New York city? Back in the 60's it would accumulate so thick on the window sills you could write your name. I can not imagine how it is now! Talk about black lungs just from breathing yuck.

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 7:32 pm
It's also a matter of how much more nicotine the tobacco crook$ and liar$ who purjured them$elve$ before COngre$$ added to their cancer $tick$ to keep people addicted to nicotine ...

. (0)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 9:58 pm
Like all natural growing things the level of nicotine varies from plant to plant and crop to crop. The tobacco manufacturer were trying to have a uniform product. It is amazing to me how people can vilify the tobacco sellers while pitying and supporting with tax dollars the tobacco farmer! And then we have the government that is taking a big cut, so if profiting from tobacco is bad then so is the government!

Dee C (23)
Wednesday April 15, 2009, 9:13 am
A few things were mentioned somewhere above that is wrong..One..some mention about someone being able to have his cigarettes to keep him from abusive..And another mentioned how it helps with stress..

On the abusive issue..If anyone thinks an abusive person will cease to be abusive simply because he/she has a cigarette to are sadly deceiving yourself..

As for stress..One may indeed convince themselves physiologically it is helping..but it does not ease stress..which is why most will sometimes chain smoke..constantly looking to achieve that relief..No more no less than an alcoholic drinking to ease their troubled mind..psychological dependence is what keeps it going as well as the physical dependence..

And..although two thirds of smokers want to quit and about a third try each year..only 2% succeed..With the present smoking trends..tobacco will kill 10 million people each year by 2020..

As for the poor being targeted..With any it tax or just cost..of course it is the poorest who will be hit the hardest by the higher price..but that doesn't make It isn't as some suggest... targeting the "poor"

Food cost has gone that targeting the poor..No..but are they effected more..yes of course..

Bottom line is..the tax is doubt it will be much harder for many to continue to smoke at the rising cost..and those that will continue to smoke will have to deal with that..but again..hopefully it will deter some from smoking..which I do not see how anyone can disagree that that in itself is a good thing..Your health will improve..and think of the money one can save..

Just because it is "Government" and just because some may feel threatened by their "rights" being "controlled" well..personally..I find that argument just silly..

No one can be made to stop smoking..everyone has the right to continue..It will just cost all..

As for nobody care about anyone's health..Well for those who do smoke and do visit a doctor..I am absolutely sure your health is their concern..

"The Health Department says it will prevent more than 900,000 smoking-related deaths, keep almost 2-million kids from smoking, and encourage almost 1.5 million adult smokers to quit."

I just hope some will successfully be able to give up the addiction..first and foremost..for their own well-being..and good heath..And is absolutely insane to pay the cost increase..especially in this economy as it is..

My best wishes and good luck to all who do want to quit..


Geri M (59)
Saturday April 18, 2009, 9:16 pm
It's taxing the poor.
Veterens were given cigarettes in the war. And now they are making it harder to afford whay the government started.
When Illinois went smokeless, there were news videos showing disabled vets being wheeled out to the street in the rain and snow. The conditions were so bad that the nurses would not stay with them.
If the government feels it needs to "tax" something, then do it on luxury items.
Also too, it would have been received better if the tax was not so dramatic. Going from $2 - $5 overnight. That's just wrong. The smokers never had a chance to really quit.

Dee C (23)
Sunday April 19, 2009, 3:01 pm
Geri..It is taxing anyone and everyone who smokes..not just the saying it is just taxing the poor is not true..
I am sure the gov..gave cigarettes to the ones who were already smoking..They didn't start them..

Anywhere that went smokeless..many were inconvenienced..but that is what smokeless meant..No one could smoke public places..

I agree luxury items should be should alcohol as well..And the truth is would not have been well received..regardless of how they did it..Those that smoke would still be upset..with any matter how small..

And to say smokers never had a chance..well that is just making them a hopeless victim..Anyone has the chance to quit..They just have to want to try..

Gladston Adderley (24)
Wednesday April 22, 2009, 5:48 pm
BELIEVE IT OR NOT!! We actually have a smokeless cigarette. Our company launched today on Earth Day. Its a totally "green" site. Go to my main page and click and just click on "products"

Dee C (23)
Wednesday April 22, 2009, 5:52 pm
Thanks Gladston..but..actually they already have smokeless cigarettes..They have been around for a while..I know they have helped some..amd some didn't do too well with them..
But anyone interested can check your site out..Thanks for sharing it..

James Merit (144)
Friday July 12, 2013, 11:08 pm
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