July 26, 2008 - With the stumbling U.S. economy states are being forced to slash spending on services like education and health care and cutting jobs to close a $40 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year. (States Slammed by Tax Shortfalls by Conor Dougherty, Amy Merrick and Anton Troianovski, The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/2008)
The federal government has spoken: "Tobacco products are not safe and cannot be made safe and there is no medically established public health benefit associated with tobacco" as written by Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services in a letter to Joe Barton, R-Texas the senior Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Bush administration opposes legislation to give FDA authority to regulate tobacco products..
When the FDA determines that a drug is not safe it is removed from the market and is no longer available for consumption to prevent more people from being adversely effected.
We must do the same for tobacco - all tobacco products. Taking a look at tobacco companies financial reports we learn that the tobacco market declines mainly from the impact of tax-driven pricing and implementation of indoor public smoking restrictions. Most analysts estimate that a 10% increase in cigarette prices would reduce overall consumption by between 3 and 5%. Simply raising the cost of cigarettes makes non-smokers less likely to start, according to the U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Raising cigarette excise taxes has proven to deter youth from becoming addicted to tobacco and has motivated thousands of Americans to quit.
As pointed out by Lynn Greaves, VP of the Saskatchewan Coalition for Tobacco Reduction "Tobacco taxation has been the strongest tobacco reduction measure that exists in the world today."
The federal government has spoken we must get unsafe tobacco products out of the market place.
Related news brief: How to get most smokers to quit?? - Keep On Raising The Price..
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