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Smoking issue SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 08/16/2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Smoking issue

Dinah S. Ventura
The image of a two-year-old child taking a drag from a cigarette stick longer than his middle finger is disturbing enough to get health and anti-smoking advocates going. Heck, it’s enough to raise a ruckus among the most placid of persons everywhere, making them fired up enough to want to punch the adults around the child who think it’s fun to corrupt such innocence.

We all know smoking is a bad habit; that smoking kills and causes the most disgusting things to happen to one’s lungs, but this doesn’t stop the millions of Filipinos who smoke from picking up a stick and lighting it. With every smoky breath they blow, they lessen their lifespan by seconds, but I bet nothing could make them drop their cigarettes in shock more than the knowledge that for every 20-stick cigarette pack they buy, they may have to shell out P90 of their hard-earned money.

If the planned proposal by new Health Secretary Enrique Ona to increase the tax on cigarettes pushes through, their smoking days may soon be over. In a move designed to help fill the country’s depleted coffers, as well as discourage people from smoking, the Department of Health suggested this increase of sin tax with the support of certain health groups.

Secretary Ona wishes to follow the US government move to increase tax on tobacco products by $0.10 per pack. In peso equivalent, that would cost buyers P4.50 per stick for a whopping total of P90 a pack. On one hand, it would help raise funds for government; on the other, it could help curb the unhealthy practice among the youth especially. The scenario sounds ideal on both counts, but it would certainly cause the smoking population to choke on the smoke this issue raises..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100816com7.html


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