An Inclusive Litany

6/29/98

Objecting to the "hypocrisy" of tobacco-industry semantics during debate over the tobacco bill, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) makes an excellent case that tobacco use is governed by individual choice rather than by addiction or advertising campaigns:
To use the word "tax" is to use the word that has been the centerpiece of a billion-dollar advertising campaign. If this is a tax, this is the one tax in America that nobody has to pay—nobody—unless you buy a pack of cigarettes. This is a tax that is purely voluntary.
Explaining why cigarette taxes should be raised, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote in the Wall Street Journal that "an increase in the price of cigarettes would discourage smoking among the young." A few paragraphs later, he bemoaned the fact that the tobacco industry "will pass on every penny of the judgments, settlements and legal fees to their consumers."

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