Smokers for Fiscal Health
The ProJo reports that the percentage of smokers in Rhode Island has gone from 22.4% of the population in 1999 to 15.1% in 2009. They identify this downward trend as coincidental to the indoor smoking ban and ever-increasing cigarette taxes. Imagine: increased taxes can act as a disincentive. Of course, if Rhode Islanders truly had the best interest of their state in mind, they would continue to smoke as much and recruit other smokers to the cause. We need the revenue to pay for programs!
But there is some hope in the ProJo piece: apparently there hasn’t been as much of a decrease in smoking amongst lower educated, lower income earners, the unemployed and the uninsured. With the current state of the state and with today’s economy, the number of people in those demographic cohorts should increase and the tax revenue along with it! So don’t be a quitter: smoke for our state’s sake!