Should states be required to spend more of their tobacco tax revenue on anti-smoking resources?
States should be required to put more funds into anti-smoking resources so that fewer teens start using tobacco. We also need more adults to quit so that our people as a whole will get healthier. There is too much health-care money being thrown at smokers who aren't aware yet of the tobacco risks. Education is the only solution to get these smokers to stop!
Smoking is taxed because it is a harmful and non productive activity which leads to death and increased costs to the medical system. Stopping smoking should thus be the highest priority of taxing cigarettes, not merely profiting from a terrible practice. If taxes from smoking are diverted to build roads and pay salaries, it creates a symbiotic relationship where the state is actually dependent on an influx of smoking-related taxes. They should instead gear the majority of the efforts to stopping smoking.
The evidence shows that a high price for tobacco products is an effective way to reduce the number of kids who take up smoking. Those who state than anti-smoking programs do not work are not aware of those that do. The Master Settlement Agreement between the states and the tobacco industry companies contains explicit limitations on the marketing of tobacco to children and adolescents. It is also incorrect to then believe that the lawsuit was limited exclusively to obtain money to compensate for the care of smoking related sicknesses. That was the rationale but the companies were alleged to have conspired to hide the hazards of smoking that was known to them from the public and the government. The companies were not prosecuted for conspiracy, which if lost would have bankrupted them, but avoided a suit on that charge by making the agreement, which does contain protection for kids.
The taxes from cigarettes should be used to push more information to young people, to show them in no uncertain terms, how devastating cigarette smoking is to their health. With smoking prohibited in many places, it should discourage them from ever lighting up, but I don't know that this is working. Make it painfully clear that smoking is NOT cool, and spell out just how dangerous an addiction it is.
I really don't think that there is a good purpose for tobacco tax money except to try and stop people from smoking without forcing them to do so. Since we can't force people to stop smoking we need to be doing everything we can to convince them to stop smoking, so using revenues generated by smoking seem as though they should rightly be set aside for this purpose.
Of course anti-smoking campaigns aren't going to get everyone off of tobacco and I do believe that it's nice to have some of the taxes used to help out in other areas such as education but I also feel that some tobacco executives use the taxes for personal wealth and gain. The money would be better spent on more resources trying to get people off of tobacco.
If the states had to spend a large portion of their tax revenue on anti-smoking campaigns, the states will discourage smoking further. Another benefit is the anti-smoking campaigns themselves may help potential smokers choose not to smoke. Together, these may help reduce the number of smokers in America.
Smoking is a choice. The only way a young person decides to take that first puff is through their own choice.
A good portion of the tax revenue should be used for education. This way it is not being used for health services, an enabling end to the tax. A good health education will prevent another teenager from getting hooked.
I don't think I have encountered a smoking cessation initiative that made me want to stop smoking, or never start smoking in the first place. It's a private decision- and already the risks associated with smoking are widely understood. Tobacco tax revenue can be better used in other spending- especially in this economic downturn when money is so tight at all levels of government.
The citizens of the United States are well aware of the dangers of smoking. There is a plethora of information available online, as well as on the cigarette packages themselves. Spending more money on anti-smoking resources would be redundant. This is a free country, and we should be informed of the consequence of smoking, then left to choose on our own. Tax revenue from a luxury item, like cigarettes, should go towards useful programs relating to infrastructure and social services, instead.
I think that they take enough already when it involves tobacco products. Every time there is a tax rate increase it is always on tobacco, let the states pick on alcohol products for a change. There are more people that drinks than there are using tobacco. AND besides, only reason they don't increase the taxes on alcohol is the politics involved.
I am a smoker and I choose to stay smoking and there is no one going to tell or make me quit if I don't want to.
I am not a fan of how much the government tries to swing our behavior with taxes. If people want to smoke, then that should be of no concern to the government. So, having exorbitant taxes on tobacco, like we do, is a joke for a nation that considers itself "the land of the free:. So, therefore, the government should not have this money, and let alone try to swing our behavior more than it already does.
It is ridiculous to charge a high price for cigarettes because smoking is a personal choice and people who smoke usually don't live to be elderly, in history the first nation to put high tax prices on cigarettes were in fact the Nazis, besides the deficit on society is higher for obesity than smoking, more people die from being extremely obese than smoking, taxes should be appropriated for the consumer than anti-smoking, anti-smoking is just Fascism, if a child uses tobacco it is the Guardians fault for allowing them to do so, taxes should be lower so that the customers are taken care of, people who live to be elderly are a bigger deficit on society, due to the fact that America is becoming heavier, besides the main reason we are in this country is because of tobacco, tobacco shaped a nation, plus most of the president's in history were in fact tobacco and alcohol users, history will repeat itself, tobacco users know the risk of using, blaming everything on tobacco is just a weak person in my mind
Many tobacco taxes were issued on the premise of paying for the higher medical costs of smokers. Their increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer was not sufficiently covered under Medicare or Medicaid taxes paid in through their lives. Tobacco taxes were then passed to address their higher medical costs. To pour that money into anti-tobacco education is contrary to the voters' reason for approving the taxes. In addition, there is already abundant anti-smoking education. To pour more money into that area will not have an impact. Those who smoke overwhelmingly poll to say they know it is bad, they do not care. Use the money for general education or use it for smoker's healthcare, but don't spend even more money on bad ads that have no impact.
The working class continues to get crushed by the insane economic policies of the military/industrial complex. Our medical establishment pushes antidepressants and pain medications on the poor as a substitute for real healh care. So what do the bleeding hearts want? More anti-tobacco spending!
Tax revenue that is collected for the sale of tobacco should be used in better ways like paying the social security benefits that are paid out to the survivors of those who died as a result of smoking tobacco. This society does not need another patch, pill, or advocacy group; it needs financial help taking care of people!
Anti smoking campaigns are basically a joke, they rarely have any affect on anyone already smoking and few teens think about a silly anti-smoking commercials when being pressured into smoking by their peers. Keep the level of anti-smoking ads and information that we have but throwing more money at the issue will not have too much more effect and it would be better spent on health care or other issues.
With the economy the way it is, I do not think requiring states to spend a larger percentage of their tobacco tax income on smoking education is a good idea. People are very well educated on the risks of smoking already. There are far more important and immediate needs which the states should focus on instead. Education, health care and other social programs, which can stimulate job growth and are receiving less federal funding should be the first things funded.
Although it may sound good to require states to spend more of the money they collect from tobacco tax on anti-smoking initiatives, it is fundamentally against the state's rights to force them to do so. If a state decided to undertake such an action then they may do so, but they can not be forced by the federal government to spend their internal taxes in certain ways.