Sunday, February 15, 2004

Letters: Raising tobacco tax would help kids

With respect to the writer of the letter "More taxes? Just make tobacco illegal" (Feb. 10), regarding the proposed increase of cigarette taxes, I honestly do not expect the cigarette tax to prompt smokers to quit. I am in full agreement with the tax, however, as a way to pay for smoking-related medical costs.

Not only do smokers have more health-care needs because of smoking-related illnesses, but also there are also more expenses for those who inhale smoke passively, especially children. Children living in a household of smokers have a higher rate of asthma, ear infections, and even SIDS. These children are innocent victims of someone else's addiction. The smoking tax is a way for those who cause some of this illness to be accountable financially, instead of shifting the burden to those who choose not to smoke.

Dr. Debbi Borchers, Pediatrician, Eastgate


Help people's health and state budget's

I definitely support raising the Kentucky tobacco tax a significant amount (at least 50 cents a pack). This type of increase would bring millions into the state treasury and a positive health benefit.

Rudy Cordell, Florence


Ex-smoker hopes tax deters friends

In regard to adding a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes, I think that this is possibly the best idea to reduce smoking yet. I know that a $2 tax will greatly upset those cigarette addicts. However, I believe that these extra efforts just may reduce the number of cigarette sales throughout the Untied States. Hopefully, the predicted number of 5 million smokers will quit, if not more.

I used to smoke when I was 15, and the best decision I ever made was to quit shortly after. My friends, who have already become severe chain smokers, worry me. They started smoking at about age 15, and we are now 18. Within three short years, they have been jeopardizing their health and also spent thousands of dollars supporting their disgusting habit. I am aware of their love for smoking, and I hope a $2 tax will be enough to make them quit.

Bridget Litzinger, Western Hills


Other states should lower high taxes

As I read the "Your Voice" column, "Low Kentucky tax open to crime" (Feb. 13), I deduced that the writer concludes the problem isn't the tax on cigarettes, but the tax differences between the states. His solution would be to raise the cigarette taxes in Kentucky to such a point that the disparity is reduced or eliminated.

But couldn't this disparity also be reduced or eliminated if New York, Michigan, Ohio, or the other higher-tax states reduced their levies?

By establishing such a parity in taxes, we will remove the incentives that invite criminal enterprises.

Patrick T. Reynolds, Union, Ky.

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