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Archive for Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Parkinson to push for statewide smoking ban and may seek increase in cigarette tax

Parkinson backs statewide measure, may also push for cigarette tax hike

Gov. Mark Parkinson on Tuesday listens before speaking at the annual meeting of the Governor's Council on Fitness that was held at the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library. Parkinson advocated for a statewide ban on smoking in public places, and said he was evaluating whether to call for an increase in the cigarette tax.

Gov. Mark Parkinson on Tuesday listens before speaking at the annual meeting of the Governor's Council on Fitness that was held at the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library. Parkinson advocated for a statewide ban on smoking in public places, and said he was evaluating whether to call for an increase in the cigarette tax.

Gov. Mark Parkinson is pushing for a statewide smoking ban in Kansas. He is also looking to raise taxes on cigarettes, which currently rank Kansas 35th in the nation.

September 1, 2009

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— Gov. Mark Parkinson on Tuesday said he would push for a statewide ban on smoking in public places when the Legislature convenes in January, and he may propose increasing the cigarette tax.

“We are going to put our full effort behind it,” Parkinson said of the smoking ban. His comment, made during a speech to the Governor’s Council on Fitness, drew applause.

Andrew Allison, acting director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority, said he was pleased to hear of Parkinson’s support of a clean indoor air law.

“All the research shows this will have a very positive impact on the overall health of Kansans and, over the long term, it will reduce health care costs,” Allison said.

Nearly 4,000 Kansans die each year from smoking-related diseases, including 290 deaths annually attributable to secondhand smoke, according to KHPA.

The agency said Kansans spend nearly $1 billion per year on treatment related to smoking, including $200 million in Medicaid.

Many cities in Kansas, including Lawrence, already ban smoking in indoor public places, such as restaurants and businesses.

During the last legislative session, a statewide indoor smoking ban was approved in the Senate but failed to pass the House.

Parkinson said he would try to persuade some House members to get on board with the proposal when the 2010 session starts.

He said he also is considering whether to propose an increase in the state tax on cigarettes, noting that it would increase revenue while also keeping some younger people from smoking.

He said a final decision on that will depend on whether more revenue is needed to shore up the ailing state budget.

Legislative staff have projected a revenue shortfall of more than $500 million, although Parkinson has said it is too early to tell how big the hole will be.

But despite significant budget problems, proposed increases in the cigarette tax have failed to advance in the Legislature over the past couple of sessions.

Kansas’ state tax on cigarettes of 79 cents per pack ranks 35th in the nation and is less than the national average of $1.32 per pack, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Comments

Bruce Bertsch 5 years, 3 months ago

A nice $4.00 per pack tax would do nicely.

generalsn 5 years, 3 months ago

Just a reminder of the sources of the bans, more concerned with "social change" than the bans themselves:

http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?ia=143&id=14912

And what the 99 million dollars was going to. Note on page seven the "inside -out", provision going for patios later, AFTER business owners spend thousands of dollars to accommodate their smoking customers, clearly showing that the tobacco control activists have ABSOLUTLY NO CONCERN about local issues or businesses.

http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/CIA_Fundamentals.pdf

Here's the "model ban" from page eight that many communities copied, printed, and passed. It's the "smoking ban for dummies" It only takes a few minutes to fill in the blanks naming your community, the administrators names, and blanks to customize it to your community.

http://www.no-smoke.org/document.php?id=229

M. Lindeman 5 years, 3 months ago

How funny the Democrat's say they don't want to tax the poor. It is exactly what they are doing, the majority of smokers are the poor. When will enough be enough?

Jeremy DeBoard 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm curious on when alcohol will be taxed as heavily as tobacco is now. It's only a matter of time, really.

Armen Kurdian 5 years, 3 months ago

Smoking bans, demonize cigarettes, tax the heck out of it, and use that money for pet projects just like the federal government...seems hippocritical. I'll be the first to say I hate smoking and I don't cry crocodile tears for the cigarette industry, but if you think about it, it's the government secretly happy about tobacco sales because it creates a huge cash flow for them and RDRAGON is right. The poor get hit the worst.

bluedawg79 5 years, 3 months ago

As far as the poor getting hit hardest, if you are struggling financially and finding it hard to take care of yourself or your family, maybe QUIT SMOKING! You'll find yourself having a lot more income after you kick your habit.

scott3460 5 years, 3 months ago

Outstanding proposal. Soak the drug addicts before they die.

jackpot 5 years, 3 months ago

How much can be raised by taxes on beer, red bull?

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

Ahhh smokers, the last minority its truly fine to discriminate against. Glad I finally managed to quit in January.

"dude that's confusing. cigarette smoke - BAD coal plant smoke - GOOD"

I guess I missed the news article saying that you can run generate electricity from cigarettes.

"As far as the poor getting hit hardest, if you are struggling financially and finding it hard to take care of yourself or your family, maybe quit smoking!"

Out of curiosity, have you smoked and tried to quit before?

inglec 5 years, 3 months ago

Smoking is not the really issue here...its that Parkinson has been in office a very short time and it seems the only thing he wants to do is raise taxes.

jaywalker 5 years, 3 months ago

Might raise the tax????????????

Puhleeze, it's goin' up, and I mean way up.

Meatwad 5 years, 3 months ago

A tax would be a big help to get people I know to quit. They want to quit, they just need some extra incentive. And the money is needed to fund other things.

fordman 5 years, 3 months ago

OK TREE HUGGERS

My dad served this country by being drafted out of high school and sent to the Korean war to serve on the front line.At that time the goverment gave them cigarettes to smoke for free!!!He had never smoked before this.So back then they would give them cigs. and now they are puting all the tax on them when the goverment started some ou this.Yes smoke is a killer but how about the people that drink and drive???I would thing drinking and driving killes more people!!!People will stop smoking them then what will they tax??How about helping people stop smoking,no becuse they need the TAX MONEY!!!!! HELP THE PEOPLE STOP AND NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM BECUSE THEY SMOKE

God Bless the USMC and our military

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

I really have to wonder if all these money grubbing politicians that talk out both sides of their mouth have figured out how they are going to feed their habit one they kill the Tobacco industry. The politicians really don't want to kill tobacco they just want the tax off of it.

I also have to wonder what all these people who are anti tobacco and that already think they are taxed to much are going to do or say when they get to make up the tax short fall when tobacco is gone.

Joel Hood 5 years, 3 months ago

“…Nearly 4,000 Kansans die each year from smoking-related diseases, including 290 deaths annually attributable to secondhand smoke, according to KHPA…”

Ok. How many of the 290 cases that come from secondhand smoke are attributed to smoke breathed in public places? Don’t most secondhand smoke illnesses come from cases involving domestic exposure in the home – this bill wouldn’t affect those. Oddly enough, neither Gov. Parkinson, the KPHA, nor the LJW article explains this.

“…He said he also is considering whether to propose an increase in the state tax on cigarettes, noting that it would increase revenue while also keeping some younger people from smoking. He said a final decision on that will depend on whether more revenue is needed to shore up the ailing state budget…”

I don’t smoke and no one in my immediate or extended family smokes – it is a nasty habit. Don’t get me wrong, I too enjoy not smelling like smoke when I come home from an evening out. But, this bill is not about smelling good – it claims to be about health benefits. At least break out the "employee rights" argument to rationalize this. No one can convince me that this policy is little more than a regressive tax that feeds governmental addiction to taxation and makes the PC crowd feel good about themselves. Just my opinion.

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

driedoregano-

If you were concerned about mercury from coal plants, you might actually do some research on how it is put into the ecosystem. You make yourself sound like a moron when you say that it comes down in rain. Mercury is a very heavy element and it is hard to put into the atmosphere through flue gas (which with all the regulations now is mostly water). It gets into the ecosystem through bottom ash landfills. They used to dump it into ash ponds, which when then spread throughout the food chain. They have been much better about lining the landfills lately, but it can still seep out.

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

I wonder what band wagon the zealots will jump on next after tobacco. To bad they don't consider how many deaths or complications arise from breathing sulfuric acid from automobile exhaust or fumes from household cleaning agents, women's perfume, fumes from bread baking, candle making and burning, self cleaning ovens, and I probably shouldn't leave RF out of the picture with all the overhead lines and appliances. I almost left out a real major cause, stupidity. I have a great idea. Let them outlaw everything and then we can all just set around doing nothing in a perfect world. No houses, no heat, no air conditioner, no real transportation, no real food, no clothes, etc.

Mary Darst 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with someone up there who said the increased tax would affect mostly the poor.

farka 5 years, 3 months ago

By the way, Parkinson enjoys a cigar now and again. So, what's good for him isn't necessarily good for all of us. Alcohol is already taxed quite heavily, because before this round of know-nothing nannies Kansas had the alcohol prohibitionists.

For all of the quitting advocates, I'd suggest you check your self-righteousness. The point being made by smokers and people who find the continuation of high taxation on tobacco outrageous is that this is becoming a quarterly event. Due to the addictiveness of nicotine, it is very hard to quit. If sixty per cent of smokers did quit, I wonder how we'd have any budget. There was a substantial federal tax that went into effect five months ago. Imagine if petrol went up at the rate of tobacco. Automobiles are a luxury too, and far more harmful to everyone than tobacco ever has been.

What would be the problem with a five dollar cheeseburger? At some point, something other than tobacco has to be taxed. Think of the wisdom of ten dollar packs of cigarettes. Think there might be a black market for a highly addictive product that becomes prohibitively expensive to acquire legitimately? If someone responds that tobacco is a luxury and food a necessity, well, yes; however, the garbage they serve in fast food restaurants is hardly nutritious and it would likely be better if lower income people (and their children, who get medical care through SCHIP, which is funded by the aforementioned tobacco tax from this year) got priced out of high fat, high sodium, low nutrition foods.

And coal does produce (dirty) energy, but that doesn't change the fact that the overall environmental impact, which we all will have to deal with, outweighs the public health impact of tobacco consumption.

The bottom line is that the government depends upon tobacco tax for a number of things, so they don't want people quitting. The argument about a high price deterring teens is also nonsense. How many teenagers have rent or house payments, utility bills, etc. etc. I smoked when I was a teenager, and the price was never an issue because my budget was what was in my pocket day to day.

Finally, check Greek and French life expectancy. Then observe their smoking rates, then have a look at what they eat, how much they walk, how their health care system operates and a number of other variables.This is not to say that it isn't a dangerous and often deadly habit. Just that it isn't the only one out there, and we should be thinking long and hard about the other habits we endorse de facto. Pepsi Cola the Lucky Strike of 2025, provided climate change and water scarcity don't make life unsustainable?

Blessed4x 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm a little reading challenged this afternoon. Would this ban affect only indoor public places or would outdoor public places (i.e. street rights-of-way, etc...) be affected as well?

HootyWho 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey meatwad, raising the price won't help, smoking is an addiction, i've been an ex smoker for 1 yr and its still a struggle

Kampinqueen 5 years, 3 months ago

I am proud to say I have been a non-smoker now for 3 yrs. Most all my friends still smoke. I just don't think I have the right to tell them they should not smoke. It is an addiction and should be treated that way. I quite for myself only and for my kids which have been estatic that I quit. They hated the way the house smelled my clothes smelled and the way others would tell them they smelled because of my smoking. Enough said. Power and to those who are quiting and those who are thinking about quiting.

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey...raising the taxes may keep Barak Obama out of Kansas. Damn chain smokers.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm still curious, and have been since before the inauguration.... Since smoking is not allowed in ANY federal building (I guess that would apply to the White Hose as well..) does Barry just go ahead, break the law and light up in the Oval Office, or does he have to gather the Secret Service and head outside for a puff?? Is there a law that says you have to be a certain distance away from a federal building to smoke?

cowboy 5 years, 3 months ago

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that Kansas spend $32.1 million a year to have an effective, comprehensive tobacco prevention program. Kansas currently receives $2.0 million a year for tobacco prevention and cessation, which includes both state and federal funds. This is 6.2% of the CDC's recommendation and ranks Kansas 42nd among the states in the funding of tobacco prevention programs. Kansas's spending on tobacco prevention amounts to 1.1% of the estimated $180 million in tobacco-generated revenue the state collects each year from settlement payments and tobacco taxes.

Source - Smoke Free Kansas Website

Seems the state is doing quite well off the smokers already. Taxing at a rate of approx 15% on top of the federal tax or .79 per pack. They are not funding the cessation programs and rank 42nd nationally on those efforts. That's an A+ for taxing and an F for actually being sincere in wanting to do anything about it.

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

With all the information out there now, smoking is Darwinism for humans.

generalsn 5 years, 3 months ago

Finally, Pfizer got busted for their marketing practices.

Sheila Martin 5 years ago

PArkinson IS the biggest hypocrite in Kansas!

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