Saturday, January 14, 2006

Do the Numbers Support the Smoking Ban

Sharon, at Center of NJ Life, has speculated on the projected loss of tax revenue due to the indoor smoking ban passed in the state assembly on January 9th, with a vote of 64-12.

Apparently, the especially high taxes levied on cigarettes in the Garden State have largely benefitted entitlement programs such as health care for the uninsured, anti-smoking programs, and school debt reduction. Some opponents of the ban worry that with less people buying cigarettes, vital funds for these services will be eliminated.

Now, the anti-smoking program is one thing. As smoking reduces, so will the need for the anti-tobacco campaign. However, general health care is different. It makes perfect sense for people who have little sense for health to fund those who can't afford it. Nevertheless, as Sharon points out, the reduction of smokers could will lessen the burden on the health care industry, and allow costs to lower for those who currently can't afford it.

It's hard to determine how the numbers play out.


At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.


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