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Weighing in

Mon., April 19, 2010

A weekly look at reader comments and reactions to the news

Washington’s soaring cigarette tax, which soon will be more than $3 per pack, sparked plenty of discussion among readers, particularly as some smokers threatened to begin buying their tobacco in nearby Idaho, where the per pack tax is about 50 cents and smokes cost noticeably less. Find complete coverage and the full debate at

Another_Perspective: They should earmark those taxes to pay for the health care of smokers.

Klos: Let’s not forget the tobacco settlement that added $1-$2 per pack that Gregoire and the state decided to spend to balance the budget. There is something fundamentally wrong with taxing an item at more than 100% of its cost.

Jessiepn: Hmmm – let’s see. If it’s approximately fifteen miles from downtown Spokane to the Idaho state line, and the standard mileage deduction for use of a vehicle is now 55 cents a mile, then a round trip to Idaho to buy cigarettes will cost around $16.50. This doesn’t take into account the value of the driver’s time. Seems to me a smoker would have to be pretty determined to avoid paying those Washington taxes, or else able to stock up on many, many cartons, to make this scenario worthwhile.

Mikeln: The tobacco lawsuit, what a joke, only made the attorneys money. With the cost of health care tied directly to the harm tobacco has caused, you would have thought the tobacco industry would have had to pay a certain amount towards health care for smokers. Instead they were allowed to raise the price so the people that sued them had to pay the damages they were charged with, sweet deal if you can get it.

Coffee: Buy your smokes online and have them sent right to your house. The cost of shipping is a lot less than our states tax.

Spokanecommunist party: Republicans won’t let the Democrats tax rich people. The Republicans will only allow tax money to come from are fatties, drunks, and smokers. It’s a little shameful but we gotta keep the state chugging along. It’s the “Fat Drunk Smoker Tax.” I think they should tax weed so we can smoke it – that would also bring in more fatty tax too. Here’s to you drunks: Crack one open and thanks. You are a true patriot.

BigE: I have a suggestion: Tax the you-know-what-out of toilet paper. For all you folks that go to Costco and buy your 144 pack of butt tape, you will rest well knowing your purchase is supporting the poor and destitute, good all over.

William: Smoke and pay for your own health care. Smoke lots so you will die earlier, less cost to the rest of us.


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