Richard C. Paddock's article (May 19), regarding the proposed legislation to raise the cigarette tax by 25 cents a pack, to pay for cancer research and other related programs, was a revelation to me. The manner in which the proposed bill died in the Assembly committee was a prime example of democracy at work in this country.
The tobacco industry is stated as having bought the votes of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee chairman and the nine other lawmakers who now sit on the panel.
The most vociferous opposition to the bill came from Assemblyman Richard E. Floyd (D-Hawthorne), who smoked both a cigarette and a cigar during the debate. He was the recipient of $3,000 in campaign contributions from the Tobacco Institute last session.
It is inconceivable to me that such a confirmed nicotine addict can function unbiased to enact legislation aimed at improving the public's health and decreasing hospital costs for the lobectomies and pneumonectomies, radiotherapy and chemotherapy for cancer victims, and coronary bypass and intensive care units needed to care for those suffering the consequences of using tobacco.