Monday, July 14, 2008

High Taxes for Cigarettes but Will This Help People Quit Smoking?

Some states have recently passed additional taxes for cigarettes. In this economy, states need the money but some of the additional tax on cigarettes should go to pay for smoking cessation programs. But for most people it is a non-issue. Non-smokers say that they don't understand why smokers smoke and why don't they just put that cigarette down and walk away. Many smokers shout about --"It's their RIGHT to smoke" and yet up to 70% of smokers do want to quit but it is a very hard addiction to overcome and there are not adequate resources to combat this deadly addiction. Insurance companies pay up to 28 days for alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs yet tobacco will kill more Americans than alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, fires and AIDS COMBINED--it is the single most deadly substance that kills 50% of those who use it as directed. I urge everyone to write their politicians and urge them to use some of these additional monies for cessation programs and also demand that insurance companies give back and provide coverage for smokers who are desperately trying to quit but the resources just aren't available. The medications that improve the chance of quitting are very expensive and should be covered. Helping people quit smoking helps the health care bottom line for everyone. The damage from smoking DOES affect everyone because of the increased health care cost, and the loss of productivity. It's time to see tobacco as the major problem that is really is.

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