Tobacco Taxation

I’ve recently received some correspondence along the following lines:

Dear Senator William Brownsberger:

Please vote no on an ACROSS THE BOARD tobacco tax increase.

Smokeless tobacco does not pose the same health threats and general repugnancy as do cigarettes (with the exception of spittoons as ground litter.).

Cigarette smoke affects lungs(aerobic fitness potential, etc.), nearby people (some of which are children), and damages property in ways that smokeless tobacco does not.

Massachusetts tobacco taxes are already among the very highest in the country. Enough is enough! And, it is unfair for adult tobacco consumers to fix the government’s budget deficit and pay for programs used by everyon

As an adult tobacco consumer, taxpayer and your constituent, I am urging you to vote NO on a tobacco tax increase. Thank you for your service and for your consideration. This is a very important issue and I will remember how you vote.

My response appears below:

Sorry to disappoint you on this one.

I did support the tobacco tax increases in the transportation bill.  I watched two of my grandparents die slowly from smoking related ailments.

I feel strongly about raising tobacco taxes so that kids are discouraged from using tobacco products and also so that adult smokers contribute at least indirectly to the likely Medicare costs we will be later be paying to treat their emphysema and cancer.

I take your point that chewing tobacco doesn’t hurt other people directly, but it does carry health risks and I certainly¬† don’t want kids picking up the habit which may transfer to smoked tobacco.

I know this is a sore spot for you and I hope you’ll consider my other service that may be more to your liking.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.