The Star Ledger just reported that the State of New Jersey ranks at the bottom of states in funding to
prevent young people from smoking. “New Jersey reaps nearly $1 billion in revenue from tobacco each
year, but the state appears to rely exclusively on a small amount of federal dollars to fund its tobacco
prevention and cessation efforts. When these programs are cut, more kids start to smoke, few smokers
quit, health care costs go up and, worst of all, more people die from tobacco use .” (Horner, 2012)
So what is the state of New Jersey to do? If I was Governor, I would not raise the taxes on cigarettes.
We all know the taxes in the State of New Jersey are too high. Instead, I would use the money from the
existing tax on cigarettes as a way of funding prevention programs for New Jersey. The funding from
the existing tax on cigarettes would help the state prevent others from starting to smoke or help them
quit. Saving our youngsters from smoking is not only a good thing to do, but it is cost effective as well.
As indicated in the article from the Star Ledge, those states that spent $1.00 in funding prevention saved
anywhere from $3.00 to $5.00 in medical costs. That is a lot of money if you think about all the people
who smoke. The State of New Jersey collects in revenues $25.7 billion dollars in the sale of cigarettes.
Just imagine how much more money the state could save from health costs if we educated the younger
generation on the health benefits of not smoking.
And wouldn’t it be great if the state also took some of that money and helped people quit smoking. As
an example, if a person stopped smoking for at least three months, the state could give them a bonus
check for $50.00 or more for saving costs in health care, disability insurance, time lost from work, etc.
Maybe the employers could chip in some money as well to help these that are smokers quit, it’s a win
for their bottom line.
Stop smoking doesn’t have to be by drugs with potential side effects. There is hypnosis that is easy and
effective. No side effects, just results! Stop smoking, like that!
So, maybe someone in Trenton will read my article and give it to Mr. Christie, who I think is doing a
great job and tell him that to help the state save more money, let’s help the great people in New Jersey
stop smoking and prevent our younger generation to not smoke. The tobacco companies will not suffer;
they have already started to diversify. So let’s save our state from another health risk, smoking!