To the Editor: Stop taxing smokers
Written by Harold Chapman   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 11:03
There are a lot of people out there that think it would be a great idea to increase taxes, "again" on vile smokers.
These same people pollute the air hundreds of times worse than us! Every time they get into their vehicles.
I roll my own cigarettes, with a hand-crank machine, and have crunched the numbers.
I  smoke right at 8,800 cigarettes a year, or about 24 a day. It takes exactly 17.2 pounds of tobacco to roll them, per year.
The amount of carcinogenic particulate pollutants that I put out in one year, these folks put out in one "hour" of driving!
Think about it: If the average vehicle (think new cars - and jalopies) gets 20 miles per gallon, and drives from BG to Toledo and back, that vehicle has burned off three gallons of gasoline (a gallon equals right at 8 pounds dry weight), or 24 pounds of gasoline, or 24 pounds of "carcinogenic particulate pollutants!" That catalytic converter can only do so much.
17.2 pounds in one year, or 24 pounds in one hour. Which is the "least" destructive to our environment?
And my tobacco smoke goes through the filter of the cigarettes first, and then goes through two really big filters, called my lungs.
The folks that want to raise "my" taxes, talk about using the tax money for cancer research, and smoking cessation and prevention programs; but they're not telling the whole story.
Colorado raised the tax on cigarettes about 10 years ago, and so did Arkansas, a few years later. I have lived in both states. Problem was the local news medias reported that only about 2 percent of those hundreds of millions of dollars that were raised actually went towards those programs! The rest of those millions went into building new college stadiums, parks, road work, and pretty much whatever else those legislators wanted.
We're not their cash cow!
They say they are taxing we smokers for our own good. Because hey, at least some of the poor people might quit! Not really, because we still have to breathe in their exhaust fumes, every day.
Why isn't that tax burden being spread out to everyone?
Harold Chapman
Bowling Green

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