Minnesotans once liked smoking cigarettes

  • Article by: Doug Champeau 
  • Updated: March 25, 2013 - 11:12 AM

Instead of trying futilely to stamp out the practice, maybe there’s an ‘extra-factual’ solution.

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ford1949Mar. 23, 13 7:03 PM

Contrary to what your high school friends might have told you - smoking doesn't look cool and it is bad for health. Profound, huh. But...let's smoke anyway. Bring on the tax so we can get this stadium paid for.

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basia2186Mar. 23, 13 7:39 PM

6 years now of no smoking. Miss it every day. Still like nicotene lozenges. One cigarette and I'd be back to a pack and a half of camel filters a day.

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nonewtaxesMar. 23, 13 7:47 PM

The state needs to be careful not to raise the tax to the point where people quit, for fear of losing precious revenue. If the state is serious about controlling healthcare costs, they should GIVE people cigarette (as long as they smoke four packs a day). People who smoke die sooner, thus lowering healthcare costs.

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pumiceMar. 23, 13 8:05 PM

From the article: "Hundreds of thousands of us continue to light up in the shadows." Better than in the workplace. Or the restaurant. Or the smoking section of the airplane.... As for taxing tobacco memories, what's the correct tax rate for a smoke-filled room? clothes reeking of smoke? furniture pock-marked with burns? ashtray breath? waking to the sound of your dad coughing in the morning? stale-tasting kisses? watching a loved one waste away?

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comment229Mar. 24, 13 5:02 AM

"People who smoke die sooner, thus lowering healthcare costs." I heard this same argument being discussed on the radio the other day, and I first thought the expert on the side of this side of the debate might have a valid point. Then I thought about it for a minute. Do they die earlier in life? Probably, statistics would bear that out. But that is not the point..... The point is how LONG it takes them to die and how they die. Ever see anybody die a slow death from lung cancer? or emphysema? or slow degenerative heart disease? or... That is what drives up the cost of all our health insurance. I would have loved to have asked him that question about how smokers die. Sure, it all can happen to non smokers too, but I if we are talking statistics here, I would be willing to bet that the cost of dying is a lot less for non smokers.

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comment229Mar. 24, 13 5:10 AM

My parents both smoked, back in the days when little was known about smoking dangers. When it became obvious that smoking would expedite your death, both quit in their own way. Life was good. So how come I never took up smoking? My father invested in an expensive bottle of sipping whiskey that was the best money he ever spent. A high school friend of mine and myself were told to wrap up that bottle as a present and deliver it to a friend in a hospital. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves in to..... When we arrived, we were escorted to a room, and upon entering, found the person we were to deliver this gift to... He struggled to say anything inside his oxygen tent (emphysema) and having a conversation was impossible as he had to make a conscious effort to take every breath. It was painful to watch. We got word that he died the next day. Now, I never ever considered smoking after that, but my friend did not learn and did smoke for years and years. We are older now, and I am healthy, and he is on oxygen 24/7 for the rest of his life.

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comment229Mar. 24, 13 5:15 AM

Finally, I do have some sympathy for those older Americans who are addicted to nicotine. Do they have an excuse? Maybe... maybe not... that is a value judgement I won't debate. However, I have no idea why ANYONE would start smoking right now. I almost wish that we had a law, saying you had to have a prescription to buy cigarettes and they were sold only at drug stores, behind the counter, and have a mandatory jail sentence for those caught smoking without that prescription. I don't think it would take long, before smoking became a thing of the past in this country. So why doesn't it happen? Politicians.... who consider the tax money generated from killing our own. Why sugar coat it?

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marsbonfireMar. 24, 13 6:40 AM

The fact is that lung disease such as emphysema is a really horrible way to die. Essentially, you're slowly suffocated...it's not pretty, it's not glamorous and it's not painless. Ask any one that suffers from asthma what it's like right before they use their inhaler...the people that are dying from chronic lung disease never get that relief.

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jastkeMar. 24, 13 6:57 AM

A comment on the aside in this column about an obesity "tax": I think it's totally proper for insurance companies to charge obese people more for their health insurance. I'm surprised it's not a more widespread practice and I think it will become more common in the near future.

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Don9539Mar. 24, 13 7:17 AM

We Americans will always be in favor of taxes that other people have to pay. I am a non-smoker. I bet out of wedlock births cost me more than smokers. Shall we tax that also?

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