I Didn't Ask for Help


Smoker's Quitline is on the verge of declaring "Mission Accomplished," since New York's "highest-in-the-nation cigarette tax" went into effect two weeks ago.

The Quitline provides all kinds of "help" for people who "want" to quit smoking, and requests for their services have increased by the thousands since NY levied the tax. In New York, apparently, not being able to afford your habit equates to not wanting to do it anymore:

"Not everyone that tries, quits," Daines said. "We estimate about 140,000 New Yorkers will successfully quit smoking. We may have more than a million try to cut down or stop, but this is how you get people to try: give them multiple chances and multiple reasons to stop." [emphasis added.]

Kudos to Associated Press writer Valerie Bauman for getting Audrey Silk, head of NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, on the record stating her logical opposition to the $1.50-per-pack increase:

"No matter the goal, it's disgusting that any group would actually boast that coercive government — this time through the hammer of taxation — to beat a class of society enjoying a legal product into submission is 'successful'," Silk said.

Past reason contributor Ed Carson with a 1995 rebuttal to sin taxes. And of course, no smoking-related post would be complete without a reference to Senior Editor Jacob Sullum's book, For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health.