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Lawmaker Seeks to Punish Poor Smokers

December 18, 2004|From Times Wire Reports

A legislator wants to penalize poor people for smoking, on grounds they're driving up health costs.

Rep. Marty Seifert, the chairman of the House State Government Finance Committee, said in St. Paul he was introducing legislation to impose higher premiums, co-payments or economic sanctions for people getting state assistance who don't quit smoking.

"The bottom line is if you're a recipient of health and welfare benefits, we expect you to stop smoking with the taxpayers' money," the Republican said.

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