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Old 11-03-2013, 02:41 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
... I did give up smoking when I was 11 after I went to grammar school and started hanging out with kids who didn't smoke.
Well, there you go, it really is never too late (or early) to quit!

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Old 11-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #22
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This was my dad's tale of the worst day of his life.

He and his brother's had skipped school and were caught by their father - skipping school and smoking cigarettes! My grandfather jumped out of his car, grabbed the pack of cigarettes, divided them up and made them eat the cigarettes! Then he took them home to my grandmother.

My dad said that my grandmother exclaimed, "What are you trying to do, kill 'em?!", and promptly gave them all ipecac!

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Old 11-03-2013, 09:32 PM   #23
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Smoking is nuts. No debate there. Problem is, the government is trying to prohibit tobacco use via taxation. When it reaches a certain point (some higher tax cost) the results will be very similar to outright alcohol prohibition.

If the government is not cautious you will see the growth of more organized criminal enterprises along with significant nonlegal sales of this product.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:13 PM   #24
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I have some vague memories from the late-1960s when I was a kid of seeing some cigarette packs my dad bought when he smoked. He was not a heavy smoker, thankfully. But after I began coming home from school repeating various anti-smoking messages I was hearing there, my dad knew he could not easily encourage me (and my brother, who was still in diapers at the time) to be non-smokers if he were still a smoker. So he quit smoking, something I am very proud of him for. He is 82 and is in good shape including his lungs.

I never had any desire to try smoking, as I always found it a horrible and stupid habit. I was glad to see the anti-smoking movement take shape in the 1970s and 1980s. I recall having to ask the manager of my college dorm many times to simply set up separate non-smoking areas in the cafeteria and to post no-smoking signs in the elevators (yes, peole still tired to smoke in there). I was happy when they banned smoking on commercial airplanes and on the Long Island Rail Road, making travel much easier on my lungs. In the 1990s, I repeatedly wrote my state and local legislators asking them to pass stricter non-smoking laws in public places (and they did). I am always glad to see higher taxes on something I will never pay and for a product which is the only one when used as directed can only cause harm to the user and those around him/her. I was glad to see the tobacco companies get sued but am frustrated that they too often have won in court. All of these things have contributed to a sharp decline in smoking rates from nearly half of adults in the 1960s to in the low 20s (%) today.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 11-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #25
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Well, since the black market in incandescent light bulbs is drying up due to typical government lack of follow through, I'm looking forward to a thriving prohibition-based cigarette customer base. It takes a complete idiot government to think you can actually stop people from doing whatever they want to, and I need a back-up plan for ER that doesn't involve a cubicle.

Personally, I've never seen the point in smoking something that doesn't result in a buzz, but IMHO, if people choose to do it, God bless 'em. Getting the gov't involved is a slippery slope that will end with us all getting monthly liposuction and doing Tai Chi at gunpoint in the parks.

Washington and Colorado are already running into problems with the legal marijuana market being more expensive than the currently existing and thriving black market, due pretty much completely on greed based taxation. I'll be on the corner with a bag of pot, a pack of cigs, and a 75 watt light bulb if anybody needs me.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:19 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
I'm not certain how I feel about "sin" taxes. If they were used for either "prevention", "treatment" or "health care", maybe I wouldn't be ambivalent. But, gummints just use the taxes to buy votes and then whine because they don't have enough money. Of course, I could be biased (or just wrong, heh, heh). YMMV
Here in Europe, taxes on cigarettes are not necessarily officially directly hypothecated to our (mostly single-payer) healthcare systems, but certainly they raise more revenue than the health system spends on treating tobacco-related illnesses. I think in the UK the figure is about $8 billion spent and $16 billion raised. (20 cigarettes in London will cost you about the same as in Chicago.)

There is an argument that this is leading to a slippery slope, with some governments suggesting comparable taxes on fat or sugar because of the healthcare costs of treating obesity. Denmark brought in one such tax, then scrapped it after a year because for a country where half the population lives within an hour's drive of another country, it's easy to avoid; plus, it put up the price of gourmet cheese more than that of Big Macs.

Also, obesity (and, perhaps, smoking) has a hidden benefit for governments, in that there aren't as many little old ladies taking big $$$ out of the state pension/SS system, followed by the health/Medicare system (chronic end-of-life care is what costs the big bucks; treating heart attacks is expensive per day but typically doesn't need that many days). See this article for more.

Age 56, retired July 1, 2012; DW is 60 and working for 2 more years. Current portfolio is 2000K split 50 stocks/20 bonds/30 cash. Renting house, no debts.
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