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'Seeing Through the Smoke'

November 20, 1988

An open letter to all nonsmokers:

I do not want to hear another word about my smoking or others who smoke. You have seen to it that we smokers are doing a civic duty by smoking.

We are the ones who will be footing the bill for indigent medical care by being taxed 25 cents per pack from this point on. Depending on the amount of cigarettes smoked per day, this is an increase of $89 a year (one pack a day) to in excess of $267 a year (three packs a day).

If a goodly number of smokers quit because to the added financial burden, who will pick up the tab for lost revenue of the tax already collected on cigarettes? Who will pick up the tab for lost revenue to cover indigent medical care from the added 25 cents that is not generated because smokers kick the habit? You may pat yourselves on the back today for a good deed in forcing a number of people off a vice you despise. But, in the long run, you may very likely have to accept the tax burden for lost revenue.

RICHARD L. BUCHANAN

Los Angeles

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