Efforts are underway to obtain signatures for a ballot initiative that would increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1.50. The proceeds supposedly would be used to reduce the cost of education. Tobacco products are already being being taxed at an extremely disproportionate rate compared to taxes on other products.
The cost of education is a responsibility to be shared by everyone. This initiative is simply a veiled attempt to punish smokers. It would adversely affect lives of the poor, limited income and seniors who smoke. I urge everyone to refrain from signing this initiative as a matter of civility, fairness and common sense.
Our state Legislature has previously rejected a tobacco tax increase as being a blatant effort to selectively control public behavior through taxation.
Bob Hanson, Boise