Thursday, March 12, 2009

Soap Box

I realize that I am not the most eloquent writers but I do have things I am passionate about and things that move me in ways that some times surprise me and other times seem completely normal.

I remember when my husband and I were filling out paper work to become Foster Parents. One of the questions read something like this, "Di scribe your spouse personality." Bryan wrote something to the extent that I was quite and sweet most of the time, but if you got me angry you were in trouble. That my real hair color said it all...RED, and I could get up in arms about things I felt were unjust and unfair. I think I laughed at his description of me, but you know, I think he has me right. I am willing to let things slide and forgive most people, but if you hurt me or my children again, I am quick to lash out!

I received a flyer in the mail about some new sales tax initiative that the Cancer Action network, American heart Association and the American Cancer Society is trying to get passed. I big bold letters it said on one side of the flyer, "Cut Smoking. Not Prevention" Then on the other side it says, "A $1 per pack cigarette tax increase will curb smoking and protect health care programs." As I read I got more and more upset. I don't have the space to write everything the flyer said, but I want to share why I think they are wrong in stating that the tax increase will curb the smoking and protect health care programs.

People are still going to buy cigarettes even if the tax increases. I really dought that it will cause to many people to quite smoking, and even if it does it is a really cruel way to make them quite. Cigarettes are more addictive than most people think. It can be very difficult and painful for some to quit. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life, but I have grown up in a home where both my parents smoked. Back in the 70's when I was born (ouch, I am showing my age) it was not looked upon unfavorable to smoke, like it is now a days. And I am sure most of us have seen some type of old movie where the actors where smoking and it was portrayed as sexy and young, and healthy. Times have changed and our society has begun to kick out smokers from restaurants, airplanes, hotels, and so much more. I know how difficult it is for the smokers out there to get help for quiting. My mother has tried a few times to quit but always seems to find her self returning to this nasty habit.

I guess I just don't like the fact that they want to tax the people who need help. I don't think it is the most just thing to do. The type of people who smoke tend to me lower class people (I really hate saying that because I don't want to stereotype) and they want to charge them more for this addictive habit when they can barley make ends meet as it is...such as groceries, etc... I see this sales tax causing them to become thieves rather than non-smokers. I know I am taking this to personally, but I picture my van being broken into again and my items stolen to sell so they have money to buy cigarettes. I am crazy to think this, but I just don't know how you can punish someone who can't help that they are addicted to cigarettes. I think we need to help these people quit. More support, more help. And continue to educate youth about the harms of smoking cigarettes, continue to make it seem like such a bad habit no one wants to even give it a try once time.

Like I said, I am no fancy writer, and I might be living in my little bubble of a world, but I just had to take the time to express my feelings over this new tax increase. I think the flyer is misleading and not completely accurate.