Wednesday, September 19, 2007

measure 50

measure 50 does two things, it creates a huge disincentive to smoke and it funds healthcare for children. looking long term, the less people smoke, the less healthcare funding, from this source. presumably the goal is to minimize smoking to zero, so eventually, this source of funding will wither to nothing.

in the meantime, however, it is a regressive tax because let's face it, low-income folk are more likely to be smokers than middle and upper class (by definition) conformists. they set the standards for participation in society.

addiction to nicotine is insane. i know that its not good, that its quite horrible, in fact. the cancer risk and heart disease, emphysema, etc. and i feel the social stigma and shame, i feel the financial burden, believe me, and yet i find it hard to even summon the desire to actually quit. actually do it once and for all. when i think about quitting i'm filled with dread. but that's addiction right?

the cigarette satisfies immediately... and i suppose that's what we've become accustomed to here in America. we have collectively bought into the notion that we can be satisfied now and pay for it later. only now the bills are starting to come due and unforeseen costs are starting to add up. is that what freedom is about? the freedom to live for today, come what may? or is the better freedom to be able to not buy another pack of smokes for the rest of your life?

i'm not saying that since America is addicted to a number of things, such as cheap and abundant petroleum products for example, i have an excuse to keep smoking. but clearly addiction is complex and defeating it is no simple matter. and you can't begin to defeat it unless you first recognize it. i suppose one good thing w has done is to make it official that we are addicted to oil.

i need to quit once and for all, but its difficult. what is the best way to defeat addiction?

back to measure 50. i don't know, it seems like another band-aid approach to providing funding for health care for children, in this instance, but if it can help me quit (part of the funds go to stop-smoking programs) then maybe its worth it. on the other hand, it might give me another justification to smoke. you know, that warm fuzzy feeling that while satisfying your craving you're also funding healthcare for children. will this let us off the hook? in effect legitimizing smokers as contributing members of society? wishful thinking.

help me quit


Spiritbear said...

If the tobacco lobby is against it thats enough for me to vote for it. Though I probably shouldnt since I have never been much of a tobacco smoker.

It seems to me though that the tobacco companies shouldnt get their way.

nina said...

The tobacco companies are against it only because this will likely lead to fewer smokers, or people smoking less. I'm not a smoker and I wish my sweetie would quit (he does want to), but I'm against this measure because of what Tim outlined--it hits the pocketbooks of those, primarily, in the moderate to lower incomes, who make up the largest percentage of smokers (according to what I've read and seen). How about taxing the big corporations in this state instead? This $10 Corporate Minimum (which went up to $25 I think) is pitiful. Then I'd be all for such a measure.

Hey Tim--check out this website, if you (I believe that's the name of the site). Either that or just google "think right now". These are tapes that target the subconscious to enact change (of thoughts/beliefs) through the speed of the recorded messages and with the music. I have one that I use for my own issues and I definitely notice I feel better when I play them regularly--which is key. There's a 6 month guarantee. What I like about this guy is that he went from being homeless and broke and an alcoholic to where he is today--by using this same method. Lots of stats to back it up. Anyway, he has one for quitting smoking.