March 10, 2009

Dear smokers. Screw you! Signed, B. Obama

No I couldn't think of any ONE particular topic for tonight's title, because it's late and I'm tired. BUT....I've got to get this off my chest before going to bed, so forgive me if some of the following isn't perfect, or starts to ramble. (I'll edit it eventually)

Anyway, I don't even know where to begin. Let me first say that YES, I do smoke cigarettes regularly and YES, I do realize the harmful effects it's had/having on my lungs/body.

But I'll be completely honest and tell anyone who asks the inevitable question: "So why don't you just quit smoking?" Because I don't have the BALLS/WILL/COURAGE/PATIENCE/RESOLVE to quit right now. As plain and simple as that.

Which leads me to my 1st rant.
The House of Representatives yesterday voted 289-139 to pass a 156% increase in the federal excise tax on cigarettes (taking it from 39 cents per pack to $1.00, not counting state taxes which average over $1 a pack). The estimated $33 billion tax hike (over 4-1/2 years) would be earmarked to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP)

Why in the HELL, during such times as these. When MOST, if not ALL of middle-class America are being SQUEEZED dry, would a 586% tax in-fucking-crease be signed into law on ALL TOBACCO PRODUCTS??? Effectively compounding the financial situation of those of us who choose to, for whatever reason(s), use tobacco!

Because it's not like the price of everything else has gone up dramatically in recent years already. *read: Food, gas, shelter, medicine...etc, etc* ON TOP of losing our jobs, homes, savings.

Why isn't ALCOHOL being hit with an almost $2.00/bottle, ounce, whatever tax along with tobacco? Hmmm, lemme think. Maybe because, as much as we smoker's have been demonized, and told of all the death's directly linked to our evil, sinful pleasure called smoking. But guess what? When all of the consequences/costs of each product's use are analyzed and compared to each other, ALCOHOL actually LEADS TOBACCO in it's destructiveness in human terms.

NCSL - State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization

(To be continued)

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