Cigarette tax increase

unfairly targets the poor

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Mayor Levar Stoney’s 50-cents-per pack tax on cigarettes proposal that Richmond City Council passed recently went into effect. I call it the city’s attack tax on the poor. There are thousands of people in the city, none of whom hang out in the inner circle of any of these elected officials, who will feel the crippling ramifications of this tax increase as they continue to feed their addiction to nicotine by smoking cigarettes. To think that a huge wave of poor people or others of limited means will quit smoking over this tax increase is naive.

A former heroin addict friend of mine told me kicking cigarettes was harder for him than kicking heroin. And many likely will resort to buying cheaper, more lung-incinerating brands, which will send them to early graves. Raising revenues through exorbitantly taxing people’s addictions is neither wise nor compassionate.

Joey Matthews.


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