Donna Peeples writes:
I have seen a lot of articles in the paper about taxing sodas and foods that are bad for you. I say, “Why not?”
I used to be a smoker. At one point, I was up to two packs a day. When New Jersey raised their cigarette tax, I stopped because my cigarettes were almost twice as expensive as when I had started smoking. I couldn’t afford it anymore. You know what? It was the right choice. I am healthier today because I stopped smoking. And I might not have done it if cigarettes were the same price as before.
I think this idea of taxing unhealthy behavior is a smart one. I think we should tax things that make us sick: cigarettes, alcohol, fatty foods and sugary foods. I know that people don’t like the idea of the government telling them that they shouldn’t do things like eat foods that are bad for you but all of these things are adding to our health care problem. I don’t think it’s fair that I should have to pay for health care for people who didn’t stop smoking or who eat too much. And I have read that most of the cost of health care in the US is to pay for diseases and sicknesses that could have been prevented with a better lifestyle.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be able to buy cigarettes, beer and candy but I do think if you do continue to buy those things, you should pay more. Maybe some people will stop because of the cost. And those that don’t will pay for their own health care. If this happens, maybe we won’t have to raise income taxes to pay for health care.
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