Tax raise unaffordable for smokers

By Gil Milanes

Proposition 56 intends to increase sales tax on tobacco products by $2, which is unfair and unaffordable for smokers.

Prop. 56 can potentially put tobacco companies out of business if passed. The State of California would increase sale taxes on electronic cigarettes and any products that contains tobacco.

The increase on sale taxes will hurt the pocket of tobacco and electronic cigarette users. One tactic that people who support proposition 56 are attempting to use is to claim that the $2 increase will allow the State of California to invest in programs to prevent tobacco usage.

The State of California has the second lowest percentage of residents who smoke among the 50 states. Proposition 56 is aiming to take the right of tobacco users by bumping up the taxes to make it almost impossible to afford to smoke.

Tobacco usage should be optional and users should not be punished if they opt to smoke. There are a lot of other products in the market that harm the health of consumers, yet proposition 56 directly discriminates against tobacco users for choosing to smoke.

Smoking brings people together by enabling users to socialize as they go through a pack of cigarettes. Compared to alcohol and other drugs, smoking will not interfere with a persons five senses and make an individual get in a car accident for smoking too many cigarettes.

People argue that tobacco only has negative effects but some tobacco users smoke in order to control anxiety problems.

A benefit found in the nicotine in tobacco is the appetite suppressant, which translates to lower risk of obesity.

The United States is among the top countries with the highest obesity population. Perhaps tobacco usage should be promoted among adults in order to fight obesity.

Tobacco also helps users stimulate the mind and body, helping users to feel awake, alert yet calmed for whatever problems they must confront. Tobacco provides an emotional state of fitting in and belonging.

The nicotine in tobacco is equivalent to caffeine in coffee. Both help the body feel better when stimulated. At some point caffeine was treated as a drug that eventually became part of the norm and now Starbucks makes millions in revenue.

Tobacco should have the same treatment that caffeine does, available at every corner and accessible for all people who choose to consume it.

Increasing taxes will make it difficult for tobacco users to smoke as often as they normally do.

Restaurants and bars owners that currently make a living out of smoker clientele will be affected, as the crowd that sustains the business will decrease over the high taxes.

Supporters for proposition 56 also claim that the increase of the $2 tax on tobacco will save thousands of lives by lowering the amount of Californians from being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Supporters fail to mention that smoking can help protect users against Parkinson’s disease.

The usage of tobacco like everything in life has its pro’s and con’s but the ultimate decision should be left to the consumer to make.

Proposition 56 will incline residents of California to stop smoking due to the high prices and that in a way is taking our right to choose.

Vote “no” on Proposition 56.

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