Raising tobacco tax isnít the best path to a healthier Utah

October 23, 2010
by Marlin Struhs
Salt Lake Tribune


More than 230 years ago, Adam Smith, in his book The Wealth of Nations, wrote, “Sugar, rum, and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.”

On July 1, the state’s new tobacco tax went into effect. The state expects to receive approximately $43 million in 2011 from this tax. Because the tax targets the 10 percent of adults and the 7 percent of juveniles who smoke, it is lauded as a good tax because smoking is unhealthy and making it more expensive may encourage some to quit, or in the case of the youth, to act as a deterrent to taking up the habit.


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