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Cigarette Tax Takes Effect

Well, the new 25-cent-a-pack tax on cigarettes is now in effect. I suppose I should feel flattered that as a smoker, the state of my lungs and the consequences of smoking were important enough to be put on the ballot, but I don’t feel flattered. I guess you could say I have my head in the clouds of cigarette smoke.

As I understand, much of this money is to be used for indigent emphysema patients in our already overburdened public health care system. As an registered nurse at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, I can tell you I see a lot more patients with alcoholic liver disease, with obesity and diabetes, and with coronary heart disease than I see patients with cigarette-related lung diseases.

How about increasing the tax on alcohol and McCholesterol burgers, and adding a tax on M&M;'s, Almond Joys, or Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes, and all sugar-added cereals that lead to hyperactivity in children? Really, I could go on and on.

This increase won’t deter me from smoking; I’ll just have to cough up the extra money (pardon the pun). To all nonsmokers (pardon the pun again), why don’t you just butt out of my business?

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OLIVIA A. SILENSKY

Los Angeles


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