Smoking defense from retailers?

Regarding the guest commentary by Jan Teague, “Tobacco tax increase would hit shop owners, the poor”: The Legislature wishes to place heavier taxes on cigarettes! I am all for this — the writer claims this places a hardship on the poor. What are poor people doing purchasing expensive, harmful, addictive cigarettes in the first place? This addiction increases poor health — and results in higher health insurance rates and so on.

The writer goes on to say that the annual total tax for the smoker is $2,161 per year. So this poor person pays all this tax plus the cost of the cigarettes and this idea is being protected by the writer. We have visited cancer wards for years and many of these folks were smokers. Ask anyone of them if they would ever smoke again.

Then the commentary states that the writer is the president of the Washington Retailers Association!

We are living in times that we would endanger someone’s health just to increase retail sales? Really?

Denny Perrigoue


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