Cigarette tax hike can save lives

As many of you have heard, there are petitions out to raise taxes on tobacco by at least $1 a pack. Yes, I am pushing to get all the signatures I can to make this come true.

I have heard all the propaganda about targeting the poor and the addicted, well the simple answer is stop using tobacco. Again, I hear "I can’t, it’s too hard." Wake up people, I smoked three packs a day and quit 20 years ago. Hard, yes, but now they have all kinds of patches, etc. to help. It can be done. Then I hear everybody has to die from something. Very true but have you lost someone through COPD — what a terrible way to go by slow painful strangulation.

I know. I've lost three brothers, my sister will be dead in a couple of months and two brothers-in-law and a father-in-law — all from tobacco. So if that’s the way you wish to die OK. When you see me with my petition just walk by, but don’t use my taxes to pay for your poor judgment.

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Clayton Hieb

Rapid City

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