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'Tobacco Taxes Save Lives, Protect Kids'

LETTER TO THE EDITOR in support of Proposition B: "We have a moral imperative to do everything we can to reduce the toll of this devastating disease on families in our state and our country."

Thirty-five people a day die from cancer in Missouri. One-third of those deaths are directly attributable to tobacco use. That loss of life is tragic—and it’s preventable.

Missourians have the opportunity Nov. 6 to take direct aim at cancer with a yes vote on Proposition B. The ballot measure would increase the state cigarette tax by 73 cents and invest $283 million a year into Missouri schools and programs to prevent tobacco use.

Tobacco taxes have been proven to be the most effective way to reduce smoking rates and to help prevent kids from starting the deadly habit. If passed, Prop. B would compel more than 33,000 adult smokers in Missouri to quit and prevent more than 40,000 kids from ever becoming addicted. The bottom line for Missouri: less smoking will mean less cancer and lower health care costs.

For nearly 100 years, the American Cancer Society has pursued a single goal:  To reduce death and suffering from cancer. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of our volunteers—3 million of whom participate in Relay For Life events in Missouri and across the country—the Society has invested millions of dollars into groundbreaking cancer research, provided crucial support to cancer patients and their families and, through the work of its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), lobbied federal, state and local governments to implement proven policies that help fight and prevent the disease.

The American Cancer Society and ACS CAN support Prop. B because we know it will save lives. If passed, more than 22,000 people in Missouri won’t die prematurely from tobacco use. The revenue raised from Prop. B will be invested directly in Missouri public schools and in much-needed programs that prevent kids from smoking and help adults quit. Prop. B will improve the health of the state and help fund schools -- a win-win that guarantees a brighter future for Missouri’s children and families.

The only opponents of Prop. B are tobacco companies and their allies, who together profit from the addiction and death their products cause. The tobacco companies know that higher taxes will result in fewer kids buying tobacco products—which means fewer kids becoming addicted adult customers. A no vote will allow tobacco companies free reign to continue exploiting the health of Missouri’s kids for their profit.

Don’t be misled by the opposition’s smokescreen—the truth is clear. A yes vote on Prop. B will mean fewer kids who start smoking, fewer deaths from tobacco use and lower health care costs for Missouri. Join the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN and vote yes on Prop. B for a healthy future for Missouri.

John R. Seffrin, PhD
CEO, American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Paul Austin November 02, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Seffrin, you're the biggest liar and thief that you make Ken Lay & Bernie Madoff look like alter boys. Your bloated army of pan-handlers have have nearly ten decades to END cancer but your only success is in fundraising: http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/3-financially-bloated-american-cancer-society-fails-to-prevent-cancer/ and lining your own pockets: http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/cancer.html So take your sophist drivel and preach to oblivious cadres you've deluded because your malfeasance has preceded you: http://gothamgr.com/how-american-cancer-society-uses-your-money/
Arnold McMunn November 03, 2012 at 03:58 AM
That's like the Pro 29 argument they used in California. Missouri has a population of 6,010,688, so 21% smokers = 1,262,244 (1.2 Million) smokers. The annual death rate attributed to smoking and cancer is 12 a day (being generous) = 4,380/yr, or One Third of One Percent of the smokers, same as California, same as the original smoking and lung cancer study conducted in the early 20th Century. That'll take 100 years for smoking and cancer to kill 30% of us smokers, and 300 years to kill us all. And the heart attack argument is based on Carbon Monoxide forming sticky platelets. Except cigarettes are < 50 parts per million Carbon Monoxide. Anything 50 PPM of CO will cause headaches, however, leaf products do not produce the CO. Leaves take in Carbon Dioxide and convert CO2 to O2. O2 is what we breath. CO2 is what we exhale. When fine leaf product burns, it releases CO2. Stems and seeds and garbage found in inferior tobacco products produce the CO, however, these Propositions guarantee that the poor who smoke will be smoking the inferior products. And, CO in small amounts is Necessary for the formation of Acetyl Co-Enzyme A. Combined with Vitamin B5, this action prevents the sticky platelets which then also prevents strokes, by preventing the sticky platelets and clots. Vitamin B5 coverts in the small intestine to Pantothenic Acid which then acts as a detox agent in the liver and blood stream and is a necessary nutrient for that reason.
George Thut November 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM
The tobacco co. wlll still make the same money,but the smokers will pay more.Why should they have to pay more then the rest of us to support the kids?If you want to stop the people from smoking,than just band them,then do the same to beer,fat foods,Coke.Every one knows that the government and do holders know what's best for us.Why should we try to live our own life's ?
john davidson November 03, 2012 at 02:45 PM
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS" 7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18 November 2004. http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409 "5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke - induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease." In other words ... our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can't even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact ... we don't even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does. The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.
john davidson November 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM
This ACS letter is so planned,it goes right along with their playbook! Prohibition doesnt work and dont believe these folks so called facts they lie at every turn! An excerpt from an antismoking “advocacy toolkit” (from a Canadian toolkit, but will be very similar around the world). These “toolkits” sport very few, if any, facts. It highlights the tricks/tactics used to contrive appearances – from flooding comments boards with inflammatory rhetoric, to conducting their own “polls”, to giving the appearance of wholesale public support for smoking bans – to manipulate the public and politicians/law-makers: “For the next few months, strive to ensure there are positive media stories, letters to the editor, etc., that tout how well the bylaw changes are working. There will no doubt be a backlash from smokers in the beginning until they get used to the changes.
john davidson November 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM
In the meantime, you have to counter their negative comments in the media, in comment sections of online news pieces and blogs, on radio call-in shows, etc. Your job is to make politicians continue to believe that they did the right thing.” It is not unheard of for councillors to backtrack on their decision and water down legislation.” (p. 48) SMOKEFREE OUTDOOR PUBLIC SPACES: A COMMUNITY ADVOCACY TOOLKIT http://www.smoke-free.ca/pdf_1/Smoke-free%20outdoor%20spaces%20advocacy%20-sept2010.pdf Even if a smoking ban has produced catastrophe, the role of the antismoking activist is to assure the public and law-makers in particular that the ban is a “resounding success”, that even smokers are ecstatic about being further marginalized. It is all activism of the worst kind. Antismoking activists are – demonstrably – destructive pathological liars. Those that have been given obscene amounts of funding have become professional liars, i.e., propagandists. Sound familiar legislators from Missouri and St louis voters!
john davidson November 03, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Yes you read that right,it says THEY HAVE NO PROOF THAT TOBACCO CAUSES ANYTHING IN ANYONE!
john davidson November 03, 2012 at 02:56 PM
About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it qickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth. 4 % is carbon monoxide. 6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms...... (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).
john davidson November 03, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn set to abandon ‘unenforceable’ smoking ban and build smokers’ shelters Chris Bishop Friday, November 2, 2012 5:34 PM http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/health/queen_elizabeth_hospital_at_king_s_lynn_set_to_abandon_unenforceable_smoking_ban_and_build_smokers_shelters_1_1679705

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