Cigarette Taxes: Have Another Hit of Fresh Air

"Have another hit....of fresh air." (Quicksilver Messenger Service and "Fresh Air" at the closing of the Fillmore in 1971. Here's a version with great audio.)

Cigarette and tobacco taxes go way up Wednesday. Of course, it will hurt the poor and addicted the most. It's also a nanny state move.

You may like it when politicians ban something you hate, but sooner or later they will go after something you like," Reason.tv editor Nick Gillespie says.


"Smoking bans in bars and restaurants set the stage for a proliferation of bans that have now reached into our homes."

....The city of Belmont, California, has outlawed smoking in all apartments, condominiums and other multi-unit houses that share walls, ceilings or floors. What's next? To ensure a smoke-free environment, some cities are banning outdoor grilling and barbequing.

Some states are moving to ban smoking in private vehicles. Smoking may be harmful to your health, but I'm not in favor of the government regulating it to this extent. Individuals should have the right to make choices affecting their own bodies, even dumb ones, without fear the Government will criminalize their decisions.

Not to mention, as the AP reports, a big increase in tax evasion is expected "through old-fashioned smuggling or by Internet purchase from abroad."

Here's the tax schedule.

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    Another issue we're just going to disagree on (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:18:06 PM EST
    As for banning smoking in cars. . .I think I might do that by situation. If you're carrying kids in the car, I'm 100% on board. In fact, I think that smoking in a house where kids live should probably also be illegal.

    why? (none / 0) (#3)
    by bocajeff on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:21:28 PM EST
    Why what? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:27:00 PM EST
    Do you dispute the harmfulness of second hand smoke?

    In my situation (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:29:34 PM EST
    when my kids are with me, I do not smoke.

    That's good parenting (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:37:39 PM EST
    Though of course, I am not the parent police!

    (Word of caution, though, "3rd hand smoke" is now being taken seriously as a problem in some quarters.)


    Well (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:39:48 PM EST
    I can't keep up with all the hands.

    Just do the best I can.


    I think that's all anyone can ask (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:41:15 PM EST
    I am also of the belief that government should provide incentives to help people keep up.

    It is good parenting (none / 0) (#82)
    by CST on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:19:03 AM EST
    although on the strange flip side of that, the only reason I do not smoke today, is that my mother smoked and I absolutely hated it.  I was a prime candidate for picking up smoking, since all my friends smoked and I have been in many situations where it would have helped me socially.

    So here's to mom, I hope she quits soon...


    Just celebrated my birthday yesterday. (none / 0) (#53)
    by GeorgiaE on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:39:37 PM EST
    My daughter told me that she asked my 3 year old granddaughter what she wanted to get Granny (me)for her birthday.  She responded "some cigarettes".  My daughter asked her why and she responded "because she likes them". Now I don't know about any of you, but this conversation blew me away.  I swore to myself, my daughter and my God that I would never let my grandaughter see me smoke another cigarette.  I have made up my mind that I will do everything in my power to quit smoking even if I have to get help from my doctor.  Out of the mouths of babes..

    I will never forget this birthday..By the way, my granddaughter proudly presented me with my birthday gifts.  A candle and a Barbie bracelet!


    You smoke? (none / 0) (#92)
    by iluvela on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 12:46:32 PM EST
    I think that is great news.

    plenty of people (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:35:40 PM EST
    live and drive alone. This isn't about second-hand smoke.

    People who live and drive alone (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:38:11 PM EST
    can generally do what they want to themselves, in my opinion.

    Your opinion (none / 0) (#23)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:00:56 PM EST
    is not the problem, since you see the inaninity of extending the nanny state so far into our lives.

    And there's that ol' slippery slope thingie, as I think you agree, too.


    Slippery slope to what, banning smoking (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:07:03 PM EST
    completely? I think that's probably not possible, as with most drugs. The point is to mitigate the damage, and minimize the impact.

    Uh, no. See Jeralyn's bloc quote. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:36:56 PM EST
    I'm generally OK with those proposed bans (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:39:04 PM EST
    Have you ever lived in an apartment building with seeping smoke? It's maddening.

    Mitigate the damage, and minimize the impact. (none / 0) (#54)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:52:48 PM EST
    ...The exact same logic I've heard people use to defend their opposition to gays having any jobs dealing with children.  

    If you actually believe (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 04:05:12 PM EST
    that gays and lesbians dealing with children is dangerous, then you've made a reasonable comparison. If you don't, then you're committing a logical fallacy for rhetorical effect.

    Whatever. (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 04:36:34 PM EST
    In my mind, they're similar arguments based mainly on emotion, fear and prejudice.  Same portrayal of a group as inherently evil beings out to force their heninous agenda on all.  

    The arguments may be similar, but the facts aren't (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 04:42:29 PM EST
    Cigarettes are inherently dangerous. QED.

    I doubt... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:04:22 AM EST
    ...a homophobe would share that opinion--and it is just that, your opinion.  

    A bigot is a bigot--whether they are a homophobe or an anti-smoking zealot.  


    You're not making any sense at all (none / 0) (#83)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 10:17:18 AM EST
    Do you think cigarettes are harmless? Anything close to that? Or maybe you do but don't care to do anything about it.

    explain how you separate... (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:16:02 PM EST
    ...second hand smoke from all other environmental pollutants to determine its true danger?  You can sit in a sealed garage with ten people puffing and all you're likely to get is a headache.  Do that with a car and you are dead in a matter of minutes.  The truth is, tobacco is the easy way for the government to act like it cares about your health, meanwhile MUCH more deadly things are pumped into the air and water and no one seems to care with anything near the passion.

    I don't like breathing smoke when I don't have to, but the irony is we are breathing it every day from things other than cigarettes to much greater degree.  And instead of dealing with that, and OUR participation in it, we point fingers at a bunch of addicts.  We're just lucky our addictions aren't so outwardly obvious.  But we have them just the same.



    You separate it out because you can (none / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:17:29 PM EST
    Even today, it's low hanging fruit.

    At least no one any longer argues that cigarette smoke is safe.


    I'm trying to figure out (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 05:21:20 PM EST
    this "low-hanging fruit" argument.

    So it means that it's easy to go after someone, some group, we ought to do so?

    That's not a term from law school, is it?  Just the general cliche?  But that argument is the source of so many problems in this world.  


    Think Seat Belts (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 05:23:25 PM EST
    Obvious easy solutions to death prevention.

    Motorcycle helmets, etc. (none / 0) (#75)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 11:37:42 PM EST
    Mother Nature takes care of purging the excesses of the planet. Reduce the risk of one behavior, and another one crops up...or, a tsunami hits.

    Do you have an actual argument (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 05:29:09 PM EST
    for why we should not take reasonable and efficacious steps to keep second hand smoke away from kids?

    Kids, sure. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 11:33:41 PM EST
    And in public places.

    Yes, and I am not alone. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by magnetics on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 03:02:15 AM EST
    See for example: Nature vol 447 (2007) p 1049.

    Basically folks like Stanton Glantz have, by their own admission, made a 'social movement' out of anti-smoking.

    Glantz's cohort gets an Op Ed in the NYT trumpeting the reduction in heart attack emergency emissions by 50%, during the first year of a smoking ban in bars in Helena Montana.  

    One problem not mentioned in the Op-Ed: admissions went from about 10 to about 5 -- not statistically significant.  And any attempt at etiology forces Glantz to the position that passive smoking is more harmful than active smoking.  I think that's crazy.

    A lot of the anti-anti smoking crowd are also global warming deniers -- anything they don't like is tarred as 'junk science.'  I'm not with 'em on that.  

    But the numbers on second smoke are soft.


    Why what? (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by bocajeff on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:59:07 PM EST
    You wish to make smoking in one's home in the presence of minors an ILLEGAL act. I asked why and you say because of the harmful effects of second hand smoke (or as I like to call it, simply smoke).

    So, do you wish to make it illegal for ALL acts which are deemed harmful to minors also ILLEGAL?

    And then what do you define as harmful. How much. Smoke from your neighbors chimney?

    I'm from Los Angeles originally. You can go to a park on the smoggiest of days and people will be more upset if someone lights up a cigarrette 50 yards away from them with the wind blowing than the fumes from passing cars.

    Most people, I believe, find cigarette smoking disgusting and that's where there vigilance comes from, not from the negligible health effects from passive encounters.


    Well, I pick and choose my battles (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:04:37 PM EST
    I think cigarette smoke is sufficiently harmful, and easy enough to isolate as a problem, that it is ripe for banning in such circumstances.

    You say:

    Most people, I believe, find cigarette smoking disgusting and that's where there vigilance comes from, not from the negligible health effects from passive encounters.

    I do, indeed. But that's not the justification for such bans. I am convinced that smoking in a car or a house where children live is potentially harmful to the children. The effect is not "negligible," as you claim.

    Low lying fruit or demonized fruit? (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by bocajeff on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:22:37 PM EST
    The problem is that it's an easy target, not the right target.

    Yes, taking a bucket of water out of the ocean reduces the amount of water but it doesn't really make much of a difference. If you truly want to help the health of children then there are many better and more effective ways to do it without infringing on other people. Diet, accident prevention, etc...I would venture to think that more teens commit suicide than die from second hand smoke by the age of 18.


    You Must Be Joking (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:27:25 PM EST
    Cigarette smoking is the lead killer in the US. Reduction in smoking and second hand smoke have reduced deaths.

    If removing a bucket of water from the ocean stopped one death it would be well worth it.


    Reduced death by the effects of (none / 0) (#62)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 07:12:25 PM EST
    smoking, but did the total number of deaths (by percentage of population) go down?

    Over population will cause many deaths by other means than smoking.


    Not the right target? (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:24:19 PM EST
    I think as long as you have companies who profit from the proliferation of smoking, it has to be a target. And I don't need to demonize second hand smoke; it's disgusting on its face, and the harmfulness has been well established.

    What if it was pot smoke? (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:38:26 PM EST
    Same rules apply?

    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:39:55 PM EST
    Notice I didn't say that cigarettes should be banned. I just firmly believe that they damage they cause should be mitigated to the degree possible.

    So, we can legalize pot . . . . (none / 0) (#40)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:42:58 PM EST
    but only smoke a joint under the covers with the lights out?

    Something like that (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:44:35 PM EST
    Just because something is legal doesn't mean that you should be allowed to subject the world to its ill-effects.

    Vaporizer (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:47:59 PM EST
    No smoke. Besides, even with smoke, for high quality MJ one or two puffs is all that is necessary for most people.

    Chuckle....no, banning wasn't said, but (none / 0) (#63)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 07:13:26 PM EST
    make no place on earth designated as a smoking area.

    I'm with you on the anti-smoking thing (none / 0) (#78)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 06:30:45 AM EST
    It's a no-brainer if you think logically about it. The slippery slope argument is unconvincing and is always trotted out on these subjects. Plus, anything that shafts the tobacco industry is OK with me.

    When they going to do something (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by SOS on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:39:00 PM EST
    about vehicle emissions? Since cars and trucks are the number one emitters of toxic crap on a daily basis.

    hm (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by connecticut yankee on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:14:50 PM EST
    Having lived through decades where smokers showed me absolutely no concern I find it hard to have any empathy for them now.

    Remember when every building and restaurant was thick with clouds of smoke?  You can still find that in the third world. Every bus trip is a battle for air.

    As far as I'm concerned (none / 0) (#76)
    by cal1942 on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 01:19:03 AM EST
    it's not a matter of empathy.

    Placing heavy taxes on tobacco products simply drops a heavier burden of taxation on a group of people and not based on income.

    Other people are paying an unfair share enabling the rest of the population to dump their responsibility for paying taxes.

    Very bad law.


    I'm conflicted about all the banning going on (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by mexboy on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:19:34 PM EST
    I'm not a smoker but strongly believe smokers should do what the heck they please.

    The over taxing of cigarettes is just plain bullying and immoral in my opinion.

    Here is where my conflict began. I had a downstairs neighbor who moved in and smoked like a chimney. Pretty soon my apartment reeked of smoke, and I mean the curtains, carpet, my clothes, everything. I taped all my vents and still the smoke came in.

    So I understand the ban on smoking in apartments and condominiums, but I think it should not be illegal to smoke outdoors. Prohibition on parks and beaches is plain stupid.

    I do not want to restrict anyones rights but the stench of second hand smoke can make it intolerable to live in  your own home.

    Sounds like you lived in a place (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:51:31 PM EST
    with a bad ventilating system.

    Just as a liberal (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:26:07 PM EST
    is a conservative who trips on the sidewalk, an anti-smoking activist is a non-smoker whose neighbor smokes.

    Not quite (none / 0) (#68)
    by mexboy on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 10:38:15 PM EST
    I did not complain nor did I take any action, expect to try take care of it on my side. This is an old building, so ventilation is an issue. Luckily they moved away and things are back to normal.

    Common courtesy can solve a lot of these issues, though.


    Personally I Want To Ban The Use (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:26:51 PM EST
    of perfume and after shave products in public places since they are harmful to my health. Makes breathing difficult when allergic to the ingredients in these products especially when the person next to you thinks that to be effective, they need to use the whole bottle.

    What we need is a study that identifies and bans every product from public places that may be harmful to someone's (anyone's) health. If we need a nanny government, it needs to be a good nanny and protect everyone from all things that may be harmful.

    Just think of all the things that we will have to ban food, vehicles, perfumes and on an on the bans go until nothing remains in the public domain.

    what about people (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:19:01 PM EST
    with body odor who sit next to you on the plane or are using the weight machine next to you at the gym?

    As for noise, people whose babies cry on airplanes.

    None of those are pleasant, but we deal with them. Some might say the stress they cause is physically harmful to others, kind of like second hand smoke.

    As for toxic fumes, how about people who put on or remove nail polish on airplanes...that smell travels up and down the plane really fast. Can't be good for you.


    Crying babies . . . (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:28:05 PM EST
    I now look at them and think how lucky they are that they can throw a hissy fit in public and not get carted off to the loony bin. Helps on the headache angle, lol!~

    Nail polish on airplanes? Oy.


    Definitely need a law that states that people (none / 0) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:35:12 PM EST
    MUST bathe and use deodorant prior to  boarding any kind of public transportation or using gyms etc.

    Can see the signs now. "BODY ORDOR FREE CAMPUS."

    Great job creation for the sign making industry also. Just think of all the new signs that will have to appear. Of course, all those signs plastered everywhere will definitely be ugly and visually offensive  but then we can create a law and a sign for that too.


    Some are probably inexcusable, but (none / 0) (#61)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 07:10:20 PM EST
    there are travelers who end up more than 36 hours enroute and get delayed at airports, etc. They are probably more upset by how they feel than the people who find them offensive.

    Imagine many of the people who spent days at the airports during this winter's big snow storms were feeling pretty ripe by the time they boarded their planes.


    Start A Lobby (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:29:29 PM EST
    And be prepared with a mask, if the effects are that debilitating for you. I would.

    First they came for the junkies (1914) (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by SeeEmDee on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 07:42:13 AM EST
    But I didn't use opiates or cocaine, so I didn't care.

    Then they came for the drinkers (1918). Well, there were so many that that didn't work, caused too much trouble, made crooks rich and corrupted law enforcement, and Uncle needed the moolah from legal sales taxes, so that got scrapped and got thrown out (1933). You'd think a lesson was learned, but nope, because...

    Then they came for the pot-smokers (1937). But I didn't even know what 'mair-ee-wanna' was, so I didn't care.

    Then they came for the amphetamine users (1950's). But I didn't do speed, so I didn't care.

    But now, they are coming after my smokes!!!!!!!!!!! I looked around, and there's nobody to help me. Jeez, I wonder why? Maybe because I didn't give a damn when other people were being thrown in the hurt locker? Even cheered it on; "Get them druggies! Get 'em! Lock 'em up! Throw away the key! Oh, 'scuse me while I light up; feeling a nicotine fit coming on..."

    People, this is the logical result of letting do-gooder social engineers decide what's good for you. Which inevitably destroys your freedom as a rational human being to choose your destiny...whether it is ultimately favorable for you or not is an aside.

    Said social engineers are not satisfied with one victory, they want it all, and that usually means that their encroachments continue until enough people realize that they are NOT their 'brother's keeper' and need to give each other room to freakin' live - or die - as they choose.

    Most Americans, citizens of the putative "La-and of the Free-eeeeeee!", still have not learned that lesson yet, but they will soon enough if this keeps up. So, all I can say is, the users of the addictive 'recreational drug' nicotine are now in the same stew pot they helped put others in. Welcome to the club...

    Reading the comments on this thread.... (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 08:26:06 AM EST
    I am truly saddened by how some are unwilling to accept the negative side-effects of a free society, and would willingly accept a benevolent tyranny.

    Saddened and scared.

    Ever hear the expression "freedom isn't free"?  It isn't just in reference to sacrificing lives on the battlefield, it also means putting up with inconvenience, annoyance, and risk in your daily life.  This is a cost of freedom.  I say it is worth it...but apparently many others disagree.

    Site violator! (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Zorba on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 04:13:33 PM EST

    Is this a joke? (none / 0) (#2)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:18:07 PM EST
    What's next? To ensure a smoke-free environment, some cities are banning outdoor grilling and barbequing.

    Have you ever sat (none / 0) (#6)
    by SOS on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:35:26 PM EST
    in your house breathing charcoal lighter fluid from the neighbors place?



    Not to my recollection (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:38:05 PM EST
    and if I had, I seriously doubt I would want to ban outdoor grilling! That's just absurd and over the top.

    so wood burning fireplaces are bad too? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:36:24 PM EST
    No brick oven pizzas for you! (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:40:32 PM EST
    We must outlaw chimneys next! And you can only use your stove top with the windows closed just in case . . . .

    Actually They Are (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:42:07 PM EST
    In most cities in order to burn coal or wood you need to add a catalytic converter to your chimney to reduce the dioxins and other toxins from burning.

    Occasionally my place fills with smoke when some unknown neighbor lights a wood fire. I usually get a headache. The irony is that my neighbor's place is most likely smoke free, while my place is smoke full.


    Not bad (none / 0) (#16)
    by SOS on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:41:27 PM EST
    it's just that people don't care if the smoke get's sucked into peoples homes or furnace intakes.

    We live in an industrial based country that runs on fossil fuels.

    How do you win? Even computers spew toxic fumes into our computer rooms.


    Actually, yes, they are (none / 0) (#52)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:37:01 PM EST
    Modern, EPA-approved woodstove fireplace inserts (ie, a woodstove that's fitted into your fireplace opening) are not.

    It's a chilly day here, so I've got my (standalone) woodstove going.  You wouldn't know it from outside, though, because there isn't the least wisp of smoke coming out of my chimney.  The woodstoves and inserts made in the last 20 years are designed so they actually burn the smoke before it leaves the firebox, which not only brings the pollution down to almost zero but means they need less fuel since every drop of heat is wrung out of the particulates themselves.


    People die all the time from (none / 0) (#64)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 07:18:37 PM EST
    poor ventilation when there is wood burning in their fireplaces.

    What about noise pollution? (none / 0) (#18)
    by SOS on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:43:49 PM EST
    There's another form of pollution rarely discussed.

    The place where you live (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:44:57 PM EST
    doesn't have noise ordinances?

    The irony (none / 0) (#42)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:47:42 PM EST
    is that childhood malnutrition and obsesity will increase as a direct result of the SCHIP funding because little Johnny/Mary will be served more dinners of boxed mac&cheese and less dinners with fresh fruits/salads.

    If little Johnny/Mary are poor (none / 0) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 02:57:51 PM EST
    and live in an urban environment they probably wouldn't eat much in the way of fresh fruits/salads without SCHIP funding.

    And thanks to the SCHIP funding (none / 0) (#46)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:09:54 PM EST
    more kids will eat just like the "urban environment" kids

    Is there something in the funding that (none / 0) (#47)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:16:23 PM EST
    restricts it's use for decent (aka as fresh) food?

    I know there are pushes to upgrade school lunches, fresh availability in low income ares and such . . .


    My point was that with the tax (none / 0) (#50)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:34:45 PM EST
    increase, poor folks will scrape the money together by serving their kids cheaper foods (ex: boxed mac&cheese) resultling in higher childhood obsesity.

    For something as universal (none / 0) (#65)
    by Linkmeister on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 08:11:31 PM EST
    as children's health care, why should it only be smokers who have to pay the freight here?  Why shouldn't the base be broadened to every taxpayer?

    I think Hawai'i has already instituted (I hope!) this increase, because the cost of a pack just jumped by $0.75 10 days ago.

    Price jumped in NY also (none / 0) (#66)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 09:47:20 PM EST
    I was trying to figure out if it was State tax or not. With everyone taxing the heck out of us these days, gonna be hard to keep track . . .

    Personally, I think we need to start taxing the heck out of hazardous food. Obesity, heart issues, diabetes, generally poor nutrition and the list goes on . . . .


    If mac 'n' cheese was $5.00 a box, (none / 0) (#67)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 10:18:49 PM EST
    and fresh fruits and veggies were 25 cents/lb, it would be a lot easier to eat healthy.

    I know that what I am spending on groceries is a lot more because I have a cart filled with fresh food, and there's something really wrong about that.


    If ya need any help (none / 0) (#69)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 10:38:57 PM EST
    stretching those fresh foods, I'm getting pretty good at it!  ;)  But seriously, planning with fresh foods can actually cause a much healthier and cheaper or almost cheaper diet.

    I'd love to see Macn'Cheese be 5 bucks a box and the taxes go into health care. Oh, and those dollar menus at fast food joints? Tax the heck outta them! Supersize it? Tax it!

    My concern these days though, is industrial food jumping on the "green wagon". We're going to have to find a new word for real organic soon . . . .

    Hmmm, maybe if we quit subsidizing the crap food . . . .


    I think part of the problem is that we've (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 10:49:23 PM EST
    been sort of brainwashed into thinking we need to eat a lot more than our bodies actually require; the more I read and research, the more I am coming to believe that the more plant-based our diets are, the better off - and healthier - we all might be.

    I keep telling my husband that we should plant more of our land so that we can live off of it more than we live off the grocery store.  I should be finished soon with the weekend trips to VA to get my aunt's house emptied out and can then concentrate on growing food.


    I thank my parents for giving me (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 11:16:40 PM EST
    good food habits. Mom never bought into the processed food routine, and grew food and makes many things from scratch. We also grew up with reasonable portions and "square" meals. Our culture is SO saturated with pleas to buy, eat, protect against "germs", "smells", "whatever" just in the name of selling, it's quite frankly, sick and twisted. And totally unhealthy (did I just do a Valley Girl?! lol!~)

    I hope you do get some time to grow your own. And I will sit here and be jealous of you! I'm doing some indoor planting, but the majority of my food is going to continue to be straight from farmers. Living in a 4th floor walk up in Brooklyn, I feel lucky I can do that. These days I only use the grocery store for dairy and some grains/staples if I run out. It's rare that they see my face. I just bought into this season's CSAs. Produce, poultry, fruit, eggs, beans, meats (beef and pork bulk direct from rancher) and wheat all wrapped up for several months plus storage for extra months. I would give anything to be able to garden in a yard again, but until then, I LOVE my farmers! Take advantage of your yard. You should have some good experiences and great food. Plus, the added benefit of not being a slave to the system :) FREEDOM!


    Somehow living longer (none / 0) (#74)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 11:34:03 PM EST
    isn't sounding like a bonus to a healthy diet right now. Stick around for an extra 20 years of poverty.

    If I'm growing my own food, my costs (none / 0) (#84)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:27:04 AM EST
    are less and I am not dependent on the grocery store; I do have to deal with weather and I do have to contribute my own labor, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that all I have to do is walk out of my house to find food.

    We have a total of almost 6 acres, but about half is wooded; I would guess we have about 2 acres - maybe a little more - of open field, but my husband has a portion of it planted with wine grapes.

    We could buy a couple cows (although milk production depends on birthing calves every year) and some chickens and be even less dependent; I've been thinking that we could have a little family co-op going to share the wealth, so to speak - and also the labor, lol.

    The older I get, the more I like not being dependent, so maybe this idea has real legs!


    Chickens are becoming very popular (none / 0) (#90)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 06:32:04 PM EST
    you just need a few for egg laying :) Our CSA coordinator is getting 3 either today or tomorrow. She moved into a ground floor space that has just enough of an outdoor space for chickens. Many of us are very jealous of her.

    I'm thinking homesteading down the road is just really becoming a good idea for me. There are groups starting up where neighbors are sharing their growing similar to CSAs. Everyone agrees on what they will grow and grow enough for the group and then do weekly shares like a CSA. And a couple of companies have started up where they come and work your garden co-op style with others in the program and everybody benefits with food. We little folk can sure be creative  ;)


    I grew up in a household like that, too, (none / 0) (#85)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 11:31:20 AM EST
    and continue those practices myself.  I still remember my kids complaining that "all the other kids' moms make their brownies from a mix" and they tasted so bad compared to mine that they couldn't eat them!

    People think cooking from scratch is so much harder - and maybe sometimes it does take more time, and maybe it does cost a little more - but I like having control over what is in what we eat and choosing seasonings over chemicals and preservatives!


    Sometimes that extra time is just darn worth it. (none / 0) (#89)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 06:23:46 PM EST
    But for most things, the "worth it" far exceeds any "extra" time because the time is almost not there. When you consider it all, and that includes the time spent keeping up on toxic recalls, label reading etc, I'll stick to that "extra" time it takes from scratch. I've actually started cooking even simpler (is that a word?!) since I started direct from farm purchasing. I could give RR a run for her money on 30 minute meals, lol!~

    You might be interested in this book . It shows diagrams of 1 and 5 acre farms and also seasonal ones. I got it to expand what I could do here, and think more about what I can do in the future after I leave Brooklyn. The one acre farm looks very doable . . . .


    Price is jumping across the country (none / 0) (#72)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 11:33:04 PM EST
    One person in my office smokes, as does her live-in. To save money, they roll their own. She told me they paid $20 for a bag of tobacco (probably a carton's worth) and the smoke shop told them it would be $43 on April 1st because of the new taxes on it.

    It'll be interesting to see (none / 0) (#86)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 02:21:55 PM EST
    whether the gvt will put more or fewer restrictions on smokers if/when the gvt pays for our health care.

    Or (none / 0) (#87)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 03:24:48 PM EST
    If the government has any liability because it is making so much $$ on their sales.

    Indeed. (none / 0) (#88)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 03:39:39 PM EST
    government restrictions (none / 0) (#91)
    by diogenes on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 09:03:07 PM EST
    The government can ban cigarette smoking in people's houses and public places in California.  What's that going to do to medical marijuana?