Increase the Tax, Stop Smoking?

By: Rachel Calderon
By: Rachel Calderon

An increase in the price of cigarettes, you'd think would make people quit smoking.

"I probably won't quit. I'll probably go to a more value brand of cigarettes that don't cost as much," said Pauline Roll, smoker.

"There are two things I like: cigarettes and coffee. I'm not going to give one up because someone wants to make more money," said David Hazel, smoker.

But Jim Moore with the American Lung Association says it won't be long until there'll be more interest in smoke cessation programs.

"For every 10 percent tax increase on cigarettes, there's about a 4 percent decline in adult smokers. We do expect more people, especially those who were just think about it, to quit," said Jim Moore, American Lung Association.

If the Ingham County smoking ban and the tax increase aren't incentives to get people to quit, businesses like Jet Engineering in Lansing are giving their employees that incentive by offering at-work smoke cessation programs. They say in the long run it not only keeps the employee healthy, but also the business.

"It costs us more in insurance and productivity when you have an employee that smokes. We're looking at their well-being at work, and outside of work," said David Leisman, Human Resources for Jet Engineering.

The Ingham County Health Dept. is on of many agencies helping businesses implement successful smoking policies. About 10 percent of their employees have expressed interest. So if you're interested in quitting, chances are you won't have to look far for support, even at work.

For a complete list of agencies offering help to businesses, log on to: www.cacvoices.org


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