New York State Assembly:  Bill A10409

Hakeem Jeffries, 57th District, Kings County (I voted for this guy; not again)

Karim Camara, 43rd District, Kings County

Nettie Mayersohn, 27th District, Queens County

Patricia Eddington, 3rd District, Suffolk County

Jeffrey Dinowitz, 81st District, Bronx County

Ginny Fields, 5th District, Suffolk County

Ellen Jaffee, 95th District, Rockland County

Joan Millman, 52nd District, Kings County

Ivan Lafayette, 34th District, Queens County

-see: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A10409

The initial justification for the bill indicates that the sole purpose of the legislation is to punish smokers for making a personal decision that is at odds with the wishes of the bill’s sponsors; meanwhile, smokers were already paying $3 per pack in taxes to support smoking cessation efforts.  The research facts stated below are dubious, at best, and the logic upon which this law is based is more dangerous to society than any tobacco product could ever hope to be.  Even if smokers’ behavior led to an increase in city and state expenditures – and it is extremely difficult if not impossible to argue that it does – is everyone across society willing to take individual financial responsibility for each action that does not accord with healthy and ‘virtuous’ living?  Or, worse, is our society going to hold minorities to a different standard than the majority, simply because it can? 

 “JUSTIFICATION : An increase in the cigarette tax in New York State
from $1.50 to $ 2.25 would be used as a means to deter individuals
from smoking. Research shows that a 25% increase in the cost of a pack
of cigarettes causes a decline in purchases by approximately 11 %. If
passed, the money from the tax increase would not be used as revenue
for the state, as it is not a reliable source of tax dollars, but
would instead be used for smoking cessation and prevention programs
for adults, teenagers and youth.”

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