Cigarette Tax

I am a strong advocate against new taxes. However, I also realize some taxes are a necessary evil. I do not consider a renewal tax for education unnecessary unless it is proven the tax is not properly used for the intended purpose.

I don't smoke. I never have and I have nothing against people who do unless I have to breath their secondhand smoke. Smoking and drinking are choices. Sometimes our choice to do a certain thing comes with a price. In the case of smoking cigarettes or drinking, the price may include an unwanted tax. However, I am not forced nor advised by any medical profession to smoke cigarettes or drink.

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control say in 2009, 46,000,000 Americans smoked. Of these 460,000 died from lung cancer or cigarette-related deaths. This is more than the combined deaths per year of alcohol, car accidents, AIDS, homicides, drugs and suicide.

Why would Gov. Bobby Jindal refuse a tax renewal on such a deadly killer as cigarettes? Why did he promise a veto if the Legislature agrees such a tax is needed? It doesn't make sense. Could it be he is just being a politician?

If Jindal is so set against taxes, why doesn't he do as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his predecessors in Texas have done, and eliminate the state income tax?

Columnist Joshua Stockley is right on what smoking cigarettes costs taxpayers. I had a "Vote for Jindal" sign in my yard. I just removed it.

Take taxes off important needs people have instead of cigarettes. I have supported Jindal in the past, but the cigarette tax could cover a lot of state and educational needs. I may rethink my lofty opinion of him.

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