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Another reason to quit

Published: Mon, March 30, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

Another reason to quit


On April 1, the federal cigarette tax will increase by 62 cents. This increase should provide yet one more good reason for Ohioans to quit smoking.

According to this year’s U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on the Health Consequences of Smoking, we now know smoking harms virtually every organ in the body. In addition to lung cancer, heart attacks and stroke, cigarette smoking has been found to cause coronary heart disease, ulcers and cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas. However, there is good news — quitting smoking has immediate and long-term health benefits, regardless of your age, or how long and how much you’ve been smoking.

As a physician, I know that making the decision to quit, and sticking to it is hard. Fortunately, today smokers don’t have to rely on willpower alone. Research shows support such as that offered by the Ohio Tobacco Quitline can help smokers significantly increase their chances of quitting successfully. This help may come from family and friends, health care providers, counseling programs or through medication such as the nicotine gum, patches or lozenges.

Ohioans who want to stop smoking can get immediate help by calling the Ohio Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) where they can get free advice and counseling on how to stop, and participate in a free two week nicotine patch program. The Quitline is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Callers may also leave a message 24 hours a day, seven days a week and request a return call at a time that is convenient for them.

Most smokers want to quit and the tax increase may be the impetus for many to finally make a quit attempt. Every smoker deserves the emotional, practical and medical support they need to do so successfully.

ALVIN D. JACKSON, M.D., director

Ohio Department of Health


Here’s a thought: Let’s try to keep the money here


I had a funny thought a couple of months ago, more of a question really: If all the companies that shipped jobs over the border and overseas were to come back to U.S. soil, and if all the companies who buy steel from China and Russia were to suddenly start buying steel from U.S. manufacturers and if the people of this country could find a pair of jeans, likewise, made in the U.S., and so on, how long would this recession continue?

Another question: What if this government, this people, were to use these giant bailout packages as a bargaining chip to convince (not coerce) these companies to bring their plants back to U.S. soil?

I don’t pretend to definitively know the answer, but my guess is that people who find good, living-wage jobs would begin to spend, buying food, clothes and cars and occasionally taking a vacation.

NAFTA failed the people of this country. It’s time to get out of it. This bailout money is your money, my money and the money of those retirees who just lost their health insurance. Time to get value for our buck.




1XBROWNSX(35 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

With all that we know now concerning how bad cigarettes are for one's health, including millions spent daily on those now confined to hospitals because of cigarette useage, a known cancer source. WHO would want to risk that?

Cigarettes do not provide one benefit to anyone. It's time for people to realize good health should be first and foremost, including sparing our children the known hazards of breathing second-hand cigarette smoke.

QUIT now people. For those of us who were kids in the 1960s, and just knew cigarettes were a foul, filthy, expensive addiction, thanks for being blessed with common good sense.

Raise the cost of cigarette tax another $4 per pack, let them pay for the assocoiated health costs they are responsible for.

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2aeparish(669 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Browns, you do realize that if everyone stops smoking, that the cost of everything else is going to skyrocket. They've got to make up that tax loss somehow.

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3XBROWNSX(35 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Aeparish, I don't think so. For one, I realize it's a pipe dream on my part to wish that people would quit smoking, Never going to happen, despite the known health risks, warnings, and pain it causes to family members who watch loved ones die a slow death, years before their time. Tax revenue can be made up when people who smoke, spend their money on other items instead of tabacco products. There is a term for this, I can't think of it right now. The fact is, even though cigarettes are a legal product, it has no benefits to a person what-so-ever. This is a problem we as a civilized society, must solve.

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4Mimi2BC(147 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Browns... the tax revenue generated funds healthcare for uninsured children... not the healthcare of smokers. If everyone that smoked decided to quit something else will get taxed... perhaps alcohol or candy. Neither of these have a health benefit and contribute to increased health insurance costs, as well. I can think of numerous things people put into their bodies that are unhealthy and they are not absurdly taxed. I think we could start with raising the taxes on all fast food.

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5apollo(1227 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Alcohol, candy, and fast food provides nutrition. They are not the best source of it but provide it none the less. Smoking has absolutely zero benefits, is a dirty filthy and unhealthy habit. The costs associated with smoking far outweigh the tax revenues gained from it.

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6rmzrez(134 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

WOW !!!! apollo you are so RIGHT

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7gistol(72 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

BROWNS - The State of ohio earned $955 MILLION in tax revenue last year solely from cigarettes. This figure does not even include chewling tobacco or other tobacco products. The State of Ohio would be in horrible shape if all smokers quit.

Your opinion of taxing smokers to death is inconsideration and ignorant to the big picture. By blindly saying things like 'raise it 4 more dollars a pack' and 'smoking is a choice' is a very narrow-minded way of thinking. Ask any smoker and I promise you most of them will tell you they hate being a smoker. Smokers know that "there are no benefits to smoking", that is no news flash to them. Why can't they stop? It's an addiction, compared to be as strong as a heroin addicition. In addition, smoking is a social addiction as well as a substance addiction. Smokers associate everything they do with smoking and quitting is a complete life change, not merely just stopping smoking. Everything from having their morning coffee to driving in the car are completely changed.

Another factor to consider is the hypocricy in the government's choice to punish smokers. I bet there are more people raising health care every day by 'choosing' fast food and other unhealthy food choices and 'choosing' to not exercise regularly. Diabetes & Heart Disease result from other 'poor choices'. So what is next? Raise the tax on a Big Mac $4? Other unhealthy choices should be taxed too under your recommendation, right?
Try to expand your views a bit more and learn how serious of an addiction this is. Instead of applauding those suffering with a nicotine addiction to have to pay more, read some facts on the seriousness of this addiction. Health care companies give healthcare benefits for other addicitons, but nicotine addictions are ignored. Why is that? If this was truly a health issue, then use these extra tax dollars to provide free nicotine patches and gum to those trying to quit. Yes, starting smoking was a choice for smokers, but once the addiction takes over, smokers should be pitied, not punished.

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