Letter: Consider taxing ‘other’ tobacco products
We can all be thankful that smoking among Wisconsin young people is at the lowest rate ever, according to newly released data from the Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey. As a doctor who treats cancers of the digestive system, like colorectal, pancreatic, stomach, and liver, I’m deeply concerned by the research that continues to demonstrate the link between smoking, digestive cancers, and many other cancers in addition to lung cancer.
Luckily, in Wisconsin, we can be thankful for the statewide smoke-free air law that ensures clean air in our workplaces and for Wisconsin’s tobacco tax. Both laws have helped drive down youth smoking numbers and encouraged thousands of adult smokers to quit.
But we can do more. I hope that our state will consider taxing other tobacco products, such as candy-flavored cigars or smokeless tobacco, the way we tax cigarettes. This action would further discourage young people from starting a deadly habit that becomes an addiction, and it would prompt others to quit
The lower smoking rates today will mean fewer cancers in the future. If you are a smoker, I would encourage you to consider your health this holiday season and quit smoking. For help, contact 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Dr. Noelle LoConte
UW Carbone Cancer Center
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