Tobacco addiction: Tax income trumps health concerns
In the office we have a handout for smokers that gives some potent hints and tools on how to quit. What it doesn't cover, however, is the magnitude and scope of the economic interests trying to keep them addicted.
For there's a river of money flowing into a variety of pockets from tobacco — and money talks, not usually politely or with your health in mind. Here's what it's saying:
Virtually any product that you consume, whether food, booze, cosmetics, even rat poison, must have a legally mandated list of ingredients on every package.
We know that most tobacco companies put lots of stuff in cigarettes besides tobacco. So much so that one company considers it worth advertising that its cigarette is purely "organic," meaning it contains only tobacco. But try to find an ingredient list on your Marlboro pack or carton . . . 'taint there.
Why? In Indiana alone nearly a half a billion dollars are paid in tobacco taxes every year. When the tax was proposed our politicians bad-mouthed the big tobacco companies and the harm they do to all of us left paying for the health consequences of addition. So it was decided we needed to tax those nasty smokers to help with the costs.
As a doctor, though, I can tell you that I don't see a single dollar of that coming to pay any bills for my patients with lung disease.
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