As a person who has been a smoker for over 30 years, it is difficult for me to cast my vote for a measure that will surely take money from my pocket. Still, I have decided to cast my ballot for Proposition 99 to increase the tax on cigarettes.
This is not because I have realized the error of my ways as a smoker or because I am masochistic. It is simply because I am infuriated by the blatant disregard for the truth by the tobacco industry, not to mention the apparent contempt they hold for the intelligence of the average voter.
If the tobacco industry had taken a straightforward approach to Proposition 99, saying that its passage would place an undue burden on an already overtaxed commodity, then I would have voted for its defeat. The road they chose, however, is beneath contempt. They deserve to lose.
CRAIG M. BROWN