Let's tax tobacco and alcohol? 36 replies

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Relander

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8th April 2005

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#1 11 years ago

It can be argued as regular smoking of tobacco and drinking of alcohol cause increased expenses for the society, for example in the form of sick days from work, lower productivity and health care costs, placing increased taxation on them is a good thing to compensate the expenses and reduce the negative consequences.

Or is it just interfering on individual's way of life, even "health fascism" by the government? What's your take on the issue?




Pethegreat VIP Member

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19th April 2004

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#2 11 years ago

Many of the people who are on government health programs smoke and drink regularly. The long term effects of drinking and smoking show up when a person reaches the age when they can get government health insurance. The people who screw up their health through smoking and drinking are paying for their own medical care. This is the best way to do it. You place the burden on those who will cost the government the most.




Dot Com

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#3 11 years ago

I say in addition to taxing tobacco and alcohol, we need to tax the obese. For too long they have been leeching off the health system with their type-2 diabetes, gastrointestinal surgery, and buffet discounts.




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#4 11 years ago
Relander;4448659Or is it just interfering on individual's way of life, even "health fascism" by the government? What's your take on the issue?

Yes, it is.

That, and I pay taxes towards the health service just like everybody else. Factor in the immense extra taxation which already exists on alcohol and tobacco and I pay significantly more taxes than most non-smokers and non-drinkers in my salary bracket. I haven't had a sick day in over a year, as my immune system is so good it even zaps people who try to touch me, and my healthcare expenses are limited to accidents - which weren't my fault to begin with. If I want lung cancer when I'm 50, that's up to me and I've bloody well spent enough on tax to earn it.

It's my choice to screw up my body. I'm well aware of the risks, I pay taxes towards the universal healthcare system (note the highlighted 'universal'), and it's entirely my choice whether I smoke or drink, and it should be my choice to engage in a whole host of other things which are already illegal.

If you want to go down the road of 'increased expenses for the society', you'd have to be focussing on the habitually unemployed too, who drain the healthcare system and the social welfare programs. But then, that wouldn't be fair would it? At least smokers and drinkers cover their expenses. I would say that the existing punitive tax measures on alcohol and tobacco are at the limit; any more would become ridiculous (and would actually damage the economy, as public houses in Britain are finding out now), any less would be unfair on the rest. And if you abolished universal healthcare entirely, it wouldn't really matter.

I'd say, keep it where it is now.




emonkies

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17th July 2003

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#5 11 years ago
Jeffro;4448674I say in addition to taxing tobacco and alcohol, we need to tax the obese. For too long they have been leeching off the health system with their type-2 diabetes, gastrointestinal surgery, and buffet discounts.

My apologies for seeming offended but thats crap.

Diabetes is a genetic disorder. You dont have to be fat to get it but your chances go up greatly if you are over 40 and overweight. Diabetes has now moved up to one of the top killers and medical problems in the USA.

My mom is not fat and has Type 2 diabetes and has had her left leg amputated above the knee due to diabetes.

My Uncle Ronnie died from Diabetes when he was 16 years old.

My brother has type 1 and is treatable with a diabetic diet.

A ex G/F's sister was small and skinny at about 105lbs and 5'3" and she wears a insulin pump and has to check her toes daily due to numbness brought on by diabetes causing advanced neural degeneration.

Some people are predisposed to being fat or skinny. It depends on your genetic makeup and the switches that control the bodies makeup of adipose cells. People with lower adipose count have fewer places to store fat so it gets passed out of the system.

Heart Disease is also a leading killer and its not all related to fat people.

Scientists have ID'd the genetic markers linked to diabetes and obesity and even aggressiveness so there is a possibility of a treatment.

And besides most HMO's and life insurance companies wont touch you if you have diabetes, are overweight, smoke, have a family history of heart problems, etc.

I dont smoke and I drink very occasionally so I dont care if there is a significant raise in taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

IMHO want people to be less fat then quit bombarding us with food commercials 30-40 times in one hour. Also let us go to a restaurant and order a healthy salad that costs less than 5.00 which is 3x more than a 750 calorie cheeseburger from McDonalds which is cooked in its own fat.

There is a reason that Subways sandwich shops are so popular, because you can get healthy food there and it doesnt cost an arm and a leg.

I think a large part of our health problems are due to all the additives and chemicals they add to our food.




Pethegreat VIP Member

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#6 11 years ago
I say in addition to taxing tobacco and alcohol, we need to tax the obese. For too long they have been leeching off the health system with their type-2 diabetes, gastrointestinal surgery, and buffet discounts.

Hey, i like my buffet discounts. You are discriminating against people who are weight challenged.

I know where I live any food bought in a restaurant is taxed just like many consumer goods. Food bought in grocery stores is not taxed. So if I buy a pizza from pizza hut I will get hit with the %6 sales tax. If I buy the ingredients to make one at home I don't get taxed on the food. The tax does not do much to stop people from eating out, but the government gets some money from your 750 calorie burger.

I think a large part of our health problems are due to all the additives and chemicals they add to our food.

I look at the additives as a necessary evil. Without the additives and chemicals would 300 million people be able to have access to cheap plentiful food? The chemicals may harm us, but no food will harm us even more.




ItsChip

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#7 11 years ago

DISAGREE DISAGREE DISAGREE (if it includes weed :))




Nittany Tiger Forum Mod

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#8 11 years ago

You know, it's funny that we allow something that is potentially more addictive than marijuana to be out on the streets, Yes, I'm talking about tobacco, which is killing my family slowly via directly or with second-hand smoke. The only benefit of living with a heavily-smoking parent is that I've developed an extreme hate for cigarettes and will never smoke them.

I know banning cigarettes wouldn't do any good, and heavily taking them would piss people off, so we hate to see an addicting substance ruin lives. We banned all but one drug that has no medical benefits whatsoever, and it is a very dangerous one.

Maybe we should take the Libertarian view and legalize marijuana and see what happens. Marijuana smoke smell thousands of times better than cigarette smoke.

Tobacco is a very hard problem, and really we can't formulate a solution due to economic and social impacts. Yet, a lot of us are tired of seeing loved ones die of something caused smoking a very addicting plant. What do we do?

As far as alcohol, I'm ok with that. Alcohol has no chemicals in it that would cause dependence. Basically, anyone that gets addicted to it is an idiot (especially violently addictive).




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#9 11 years ago

Having people poison the air with smoke and losing what little control they have over themselves because of intoxication is annoying enough (and certainly not covered by the weak excuse that they have the freedom to do that because it is their "lifestyle"), but having to pay for the consequences of all those excesses is too much for me.

The fair thing would be to exclude these people from social security and let them pay treatment themselves, but since that is not likely to happen taxes are probably the most realistic way to limit the damage.




Dot Com

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#10 11 years ago
MrFancypants;4449997Having people poison the air with smoke and losing what little control they have over themselves because of intoxication is annoying enough (and certainly not covered by the weak excuse that they have the freedom to do that because it is their "lifestyle"), but having to pay for the consequences of all those excesses is too much for me.

If only they taxed industry for polluting the air, taxed our car use for polluting the air, and taxed the power plants for polluting the air. What a pipe dream that is.

Makes cigarette smoke almost minuscule in comparison...