Thursday, February 15, 2007

States need more smokers

Say what?!? That's right. The unintended consequence of the Nanny State and restrictions on smoking is that the tax revenue base dries up. Ok, ok, we're supposed to save money in the long run on health....but what about education, healthcare emergency, etc. that the tobacco tax revenues support right now?

We are not fans of the Nanny State - take responsibility to police right, etc., but the State doesn't need to butt in. Prediction - watch for smoking restrictions to ease up to fill up the state's coffers again....that, or legalize marijuana with big taxes....

RS Across the country, states are putting their treasuries under pressure by adopting smoking restrictions as well as higher cigarette taxes, which appear to be discouraging people from lighting up, as many health activists had hoped would happen.

State Sen. David Tomassoni, a Democrat who opposes a statewide smoking ban, said he worries about the lost tax dollars. “The taxes on smoking are being used to fund education, they’re being used to fund health care, they’re being used to fund real things. Now, if we eliminate smoking, does it mean that those things go away?” Tomassoni said.