Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blog #10 -- Tax the smokers?

As you may know, the state of Missouri is broke. Higher Education is getting its budget cut for the third year in a row, which could most likely will mean an increase in tuition and class size. In all likelihood, you will help pay to get Missouri out of debt.

One of the other possibilities that is going through the state legislature, right now, is to raise the cigarette tax from 17 cents a pack to 89 cents a pack -- a 424% tax hike. Missouri currently has the lowest tobacco tax in the country. Many non-smoking organizations around the country have given Missouri the grade of "F" for their tactics with tobacco. Organizations claim that Missouri is letting smokers continue to smoke, and they are not offering assistance in helping people quit this unhealthy habit. They have not put enough smoking bans in place around the state. They have not offered enough "stop smoking" campaigns. They do not offer assistance to those who want to quit.

What do you think? Is this a viable solution? Keep in mind that a cigarette tax will hit the middle and low class of Missouri the hardest.

42 comments:

8Rach8 said...

I think Missouri show raise the taxes on cigarettes. Raising the taxes on cigarettes can help our state education costs for next year. I mean we have the lowest taxes on cigarettes; we can hike the tax up and still be one of the lowest cigarette taxed states. In the end I think it will help everyone. The education in Missouri takes less of a blow to cost cuts and smokers to have incentive to quit smoking, giving us all a better breathing environment.

Ray said...

I don't think raising the tax on cigarettes will mater that much.There are fewer smokers now than years ago plus it makes hardships for the tobbaco farmers and people who work in the factories. More jobs will be lost and go to other countries where smoking is on the increase. Maybe the government should quit spending somewhere else.

Clayton said...

I think Missouri should raise the tax on cigarettes. It will help pay for other state funded programs. They could increase the tax slightly instead of raising it by 400% or more. That way it wouldn't impact the lower and middle class very much, but still make a difference.

Victoria Campbell said...

It's just another sin tax like on alcohol. If people want to do bad things they should have to pay for it more. Why tax people that are doing better things than killing themselves. We are taking money from people who want to better themselves so we might as well tax people doing bad things.

Morganne said...

I think raising the taxes on cigarettes would be a GREAT idea. I don't think we should be punished and have to pay more money for school. Schooling is more important than smoking. Plus if you wanna ruin your life you can pay for it.

Ali said...

I think that Missouri should raise taxes on cigarettes because its is something that a person can reduce or quit which will improve their breating quality and the people around them. Missouri should come up with other ways to not be so broke, and not cut the budget for higher education.

Nathan E said...

I dont have a problem with them raising the taxes on cigarettes. My home state the tax on a pack of cigarettes is a lot higher than 89 cents. You also cant smoke in any public places there. I dont think that just raising taxes on tobacco will fix much of anything.

Vensinia said...

Honestly, I think it is a perfect solution. Why should Missouri be any different than the rest if the United States? If people had to pay tax on tobacco products, then maybe they will make a better choice to pay an extra money or to quit smoking. The end product may end with the tobacco companies going out of business and jobs being lost but all in all, this would probably be a short term solution anyway.

AndyDoubleYou said...

I think if Missouri raised taxes on cigarettes that it would be a double positive for us. Not only would it help raise money, but hopefully it would get people to quit smoking. And with people quitting smoking, it would hopefully bring down prices on state health care and government funded health care.

Marion said...

It is up to Missouri to stop the smokers from smoking, it's up to the smokers. I don't think raising taxes is the main solution of helping smokers quit. If someone is addicted to smoking they'll keep buying the cigarettes no matter what the price is. Missouri isn't doing anything wrong. They made an effort to help by raising the taxes 424% otherwise it is 100% up to the smokers themselves to decrease the percent of smokers. I don't think the state of Missouri is to blame for this issue.

Marion said...

it is NOT up to Missouri is what i meant to put! Whoops

Mitchell said...

Missouri should raise taxes om cigarettes it will help our state education costs and hopefully it will reduce the number of smokers. I dont like being around smokers because it makes me sick. By raising tax education costs will go down abd hopefully it reduces the number of smokers.

Taylor said...

I think Missouri should raise the taxes on cigarettes. It may not have to be raised at 424% tax hike. I think it should be raised a little bit. There can be other areas in the state legislatures that money can be saved. Smoking is gross in the first place and unhealthy. I believe the higher education tax is not fair for the students.

Allan said...

I think that Missouri should raise the taxes on cigarettes just because Missouri is being looked down upon because of this fact. Missouri needs to show that they are higher up and can tax the smokers. More smoke-free environments should be included and this would help out some of the tax situation with the government.

Zach said...

By raising the tax on cigarettes I believe that it will help the state, smoker, and everyone with health insurance. Many smokers are wishing to quit and need a reason to quit. By raising the tax it will cause many people to not spend their money on cigarettes. This will cause people to quit and help the state get out of debt and also cause some health insurance rates go down. However, 89 cents seems like a huge tax. I believe the tax could be a little cheaper and still be equally as good and not run the tobacco farmer out of business. I also believe that it is unfortunate that secondary education keeps getting cuts but I do realize that something has to go when it comes to a tight budget.

Chenyang said...

I hardly agree that raising the tobacco tax rate. On the one side, raising tax rate for tobacco is not helping people quit from smoke, if the price for one pack of cigarettes raising to 20 or 30 bucks, that would be help because not many people want to cost much on smoke. On the other side, trying to adapted the industry structure is a good way to making money, you need to earn it, not "saving" a little bit from customers.

Courtneyk said...

I don't think its fair to tax other more important things before they tax something that can possibly kill. To me I don't really care because I don't smoke and either does anyone I know so its easy for me to want this taxed automatically. This may also help smokers quit and want to quit because they can't afford cigarettes. It would at least be one incentive if your health and whatever else isn't a big enough incentive for people.

Alvin said...

I think raising taxes on cigarettes is a great idea to help Missouri get some money. First of all smoking is TERRIBLE for you, and I believe that raising taxes is a good incentive for people to be able to quit because of the tax hike.

KyleS said...

Well, the last little comment makes lot of sense about how the middle and low classes will be hit the hardest. Witch will then make other things become lower on their list to buy. Because if you think about it, they will still buy tobacco and just not buy electronics or other things that they do not need. So I dont know that it would help or just hurt another section of the economy. Also if you offer options to help them then you are just spending money again making the state even more broke.

sydney03 said...

I think the cigarette tax should get raised because it will get out state out of debt. To me it really does not matter because I do not smoke so it does not affect me at all so I'd rather them take taxes from smokers then other areas where I would have to pay!

xSamantha92x said...

I like the thought behind raising the tax on cigarettes but I'm not sure if it will help all that much. Less and less people are smoking each year due to the price/cancer/etc. I believe that as long as places keep banning smoking, more and more people will quit the habit. I believe that it would help people to quit if it becomes even more expensive.

Megan Stagner said...

I think that Missouri should raise taxes on ciarettes. I don't think I should be punished and have to pay more money for school when I am trying to better myself. People who smoke can't quit the bad habit.

britte91 said...

Even though I think that raising the tax on cigarettes will be a good way to bring in more money, I don't think it will stop people from buying them. It might be a good incentive for SOME people to quit, but not all people will.

CoreyT. said...

I think Missouri should raise taxes on cigarettes.Smoking isn't good, people shouldn't be doing it everyday and there are several health risks with cigarettes. To be honest people are still going to buy cigarettes because its what they like to do and they just don't care that Missouri is in debt.

Yang Shen said...

I don't think so. becaus I don.t think rise tax of cigarette to prevent somking as a good way. Only rise tax of cigarette lead to people of somking pay money to buy it. If want reduce somke, we can publish rule, such as "somking free in campus"

Hope G said...

Missouri I think should definately raise taxes on cigarettes! We need to get out of debt and this would be the best way. People that smoke are going to smoke no matter how much it costs i believe, its an addiction that the state can make money on. Someone has to pay this and at least we are trying to stop people from hurting themselves while saving our economy.

mjohnson said...

I don't think that it is Missouri's obligation to try and get smokers to quit, however, because Missouri's current tobacco tax is, in fact, so low, that they should raise it. I'm not necessarily in favor of hiking it up 70 cents right away, but increasing it a small sum would not hurt anything. I realize why they chose to increase tobacco and alcohol tax first, but it doesn't make sense why they never look at taxing goods that are purchased by everyone, not just a selective group. For example, if you increased the tax on caffeinated goods, the state would benefit from 9 year olds buying soda, to the 75 year olds buying coffee as opposed to eighteen and over citizens who smoke.

bmahon said...

We talk a lot about how smoking, and second hand smoke is killing and harming people all the time. There are ads everywhere in the media. It really seems like a lot of people are pushing for people to quit smoking. By raising the taxes on cigarettes would either do one of two things. It would either force the people who are addicted to spend more money in which would bring some revenue in and would help Missouri get a little out of debt. Or, it would cause people to quit smoking in which would not bring in money but it would stop people from smoking. I think increasing the tax on tobacco is fine because it would bring in some money for the government and could help out with the debt.

JoshG said...

I think a tax hike would be ok but I don't think that it should just be cigs. I think it would be a lot better for everyone and there would be a lot less backlash if this hike was spread out to other products like caffiene, alcohol, lottery tickets, etc. I don't smoke but I do use chewing tobacco, and as much as I don't want to pay more, the economy is in such a bad place that everyone is going to have to start paying more so we can get out of this massive debt.

Robbie said...

I think that its a good idea to increase the "Tax on Smokers". Its a not an essential thing we need to survive so to get out of debt it could be one way to reduce the debt. By having a higher tax for smokers it could stop future smokers from starting. That might increase our anti-smoker rating.

SamC said...

I think that this is a great idea. Cigarettes are not a necesity, people just chose to smoke them. I think America is so far in debt that something needs to be done and this seems logical. No it won't totally fix things but it will be a start. We need to start with things like this that are not necessary for everyday life before we have to start taxing things that are.

Alex Tharp said...

I do not agree with Missouri raising taxes on cigarettes and other tabacco products in order to bring the state out of debt. I feel this way because although tabacco is harmful to the body and others who are in harms way of second hand smoke, this is America and it is one's own decision to do whatever he/she wants to their body and I don't feel that the individual should be punished by being taxed more in this country that is suppose to demonstrate and support freedom.

Liz said...

I wouldn't mind if tobacco products were taxed higher. This could help smokers quit and funds could go to other stated funded organizations. I personally plan on moving out of Missouri as soon as I get the chance, so the taxation would affect me for a short while if any. Along with tobacco, they should go ahead and add in alcohol. Although I like to drink on the weekends, this could help Missouri out and those with drinking problems.

Brett G said...

I think that Missouri should raise the taxes on tobacco but at the same time they should not raise the tax to high like other states in the U.S.. I think the tax could help the U.S. in many different ways such as roads,schools, and buildings. They should not raise the taxes to high because it helps are farmers who grow tobacco on their farms.

Cassy A. said...

I think that Missouri should raise the cigarette taxes, it would help with the state's education costs. Why should education be penalized and cost more when it is lot more important than smoking and ruining your health?

SavannahC said...

I think that they should tax cigarettes. If thats what will help the schools, I think its a great idea. Education is way more important than cigarettes.

Jillian said...

I think raising the tax on cigarettes will be a huge talk for the people living in Missouri, but it will most definitely not stop people from smoking. Smokers are addicted and nothing will stop them from smoking even though I would like to think that this will make them think twice on what they are really spending their money on. I personally hate smoking more than anything. I think it is disgusting, but its up to the smokers to choose how to spend their money and if they want a healthy life or not.

Zach E said...

Im not a fan of cigarettes, but from what I do know it is a hard habit to quit and helps people calm their nerves. I think it will hit the middle and lower classes the hardest so im not sure how effective this may be, but then again they could always quit if it is too expensive.

Marie said...

i think it is a great idea to tax smoking. So many people are becoming addicted to it and it is not the best thing for health. Also, it is an easy way for Missouri to get money because people that smoke would pay anything for them.

StefanieA said...

I believe taxes should be raised on tobacco products along with alcohol and gambling. They are not good for society other than to raise produce money/taxes. Therefore I believe they should be raised to help improve Missouri, like other states have.

Barnes.24 said...

I think that if Missouri is broke, cigarettes should definitely be one of the first things lawmakers should consider taxing. Not only is smoking cigarettes not necessary, it is incredibly unhealthy. People who smoke spend way too much money on cigarettes a year anyways, so maybe higher prices would motivate them to quit more, which would in turn make establishments cleaner and healthier, but could potentially save a lot of lives.

Molly said...

I believe putting a tax on smoking would be a great idea. Cigarettes are harmful to not only people's health but for our environment. Therefore, that is why I believe we should put a tax on cigarettes.