The Norman Transcript

Opinion

June 22, 2013

Taxation a smoky issue

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

There has been considerable pressure by electronic cigarette dealers and the public against state proposals for regulations and taxes on e-cigarettes. South Carolina has recently decided to put their state plans on hold and wait to see what federal regulations will be in this area.

A relative recently suffered a severe heart attack and was told to quit smoking. After having smoked since his teens, he found this hard to do, so he tried switching to e-cigarettes. He reported feeling better and losing his cough. Comments from numerous long-term cigarette users give the same type of reports.

My father suffered and died from complications of tobacco use when he was younger than my children are now. The evaluation of health dangers of using e-cigarettes is not yet determined, but using these, rather than regular tobacco, may reduce the costs and suffering from tobacco-related illnesses.

I have never used tobacco and have no financial interest in this issue, but believe long-term tobacco users who can’t quit smoking should not be discouraged by excessive taxes and excessive regulations of an alternative that most medical professionals say can’t be as bad as regular cigarettes.

EDWARD V. HARRIS

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