SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

RE: Youth Win Big with a Tobacco Excise Tax

By Chris Snyder


August 09, 2015
Sunday PM

Regarding Terrence Robbins' letter: First of all thanks for identifying yourself as an advocate. It makes the discussion more honest. It does seem, however, that your advocacy is prompting you to play a little fast and loose with statistics. You say that "not coincidentally" cancer rates are higher in Ketchikan than Anchorage and Juneau because of youth smoking. Given that your risk of cancer and strokes plummets if you quit smoking, isn't the adult smoking rate more relevant than the youth rate? And if the adult smoking rates are similar in our different communities, then there are probably environmental reasons for the cancer disparity...pulp mill, shipyard, water supply, diet...right? That would make the youth smoking rate very coincidental.

And regarding the $3 amount of the proposed tax... If the goal is to get youth smoking rates down to at least Anchorage/Juneau levels, and their levels are 7% lower, and a 10% hike in price equals a 7% drop in youth smoking rates, then .60 a pack should give you the smoking rate decrease you are looking for. Anything more seems punitive to adults who decide to smoke. That is patently unfair to the adults who do legally smoke.

I quit 17 years ago but back when I did smoke; at break time after sliming fish for a couple hours in a cold, wet, noisy environment I really relished the relaxation. I was not making much money and working a difficult job. I shouldn't have been bearing the cost of keeping other people's children in line then, and legal adult smokers shouldn't be expected to shoulder that whole burden now just because the lifestyle police disapprove.


Chris Snyder
Ketchikan, Alaska


About: "25 year Ketchikan resident. Quit smoking 17 years ago."

Received August 07, 2015 - Published August 09, 2015

Related Viewpoint:

letter Youth Win Big with a Tobacco Excise Tax By Terrence Robbins


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