A Smoking Problem (2007)

(This was in response to an editorial, obviously.)

         In regards to your editorial "Up in Smoke" (6/20/07), I would suggest that the smoking problem is with both political parties.  If the real concern is for the health and welfare of the citizens of Pennsylvania perhaps the legislature needs to look at the smoking ban in a new light.  If the cost of caring for smokers and the victims of "second hand smoke" is bankrupting our health system, then real action is required.

         May I suggest a total ban on all tobacco products in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?  As the general public can not be held responsible for their own actions, let's remove the temptation.  Make all tobacco products illegal, as well as, the importation of all tobacco products into the state. 

         Granted the loss of tax revenue might limit the ability of our elected leaders to pass pay raises, fund various pet projects and cut into some of their well deserved perks. However, I am confident that just as slots have lowered our property taxes the leadership in Harrisburg can raise taxes on another product that is dangerous to the health and welfare of the public; beer.  Although, I have heard rumblings of "second hand drunkenness" causing severe problems in public and often filling the emergency rooms on Friday and Saturday nights.  Perhaps the beer ban is next.

         I am looking for that brave and visionary leader in Harrisburg to campaign on, "Cigarettes today, beer tomorrow for a healthy future."  Or, "We are not responsible for our actions."  Wait a minute I believe that one’s been taken.