Does Gov. Jay Inslee want to keep people smoking cigarettes?

Mar 3, 2015, 2:40 PM | Updated: 3:14 pm
Starting in 2018, smoking and vaping at all Olympia public parks will be prohibited. (AP)...
Starting in 2018, smoking and vaping at all Olympia public parks will be prohibited. (AP)

Taken from Tuesday’s edition of The David Boze Show on 770 KTTH.

During every legislative session in nearly every state at nearly every level of government, there is always a desire to increase taxes on smokers.

Let me make something clear, I don’t like smoking, I never have. I don’t like the smell of it. My mother smoked. My grandfather died, in part, from emphysema. I’m not a fan of cigarettes.

That said, I do respect the ability and the rights of people to take the risks that they wish. If somebody wants to smoke, I’m not going to stop them. I’m not eager to say no you can never smoke either directly, or indirectly, for example, by taxing them to the point of insanity.

But let’s set cigarettes to the side and acknowledge that it would be a great thing if everybody stopped smoking.
I’ve met plenty of smokers that have decided at some point smoking is not cool and they want to stop it. But when they go to quit, they find out they are addicted. It’s very hard to get off the nicotine habit.

But there’s an option now that hasn’t been available before. That option is vaping. It’s this nicotine delivery system through vapor instead of smoke. It’s not an actual tobacco product. It doesn’t have the same carcinogens as cigarettes do.

But now, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants to tax vaping to the point it would be the same as cigarettes.

According to The Olympian:

“Inslee has proposed a 95 percent excise tax on e-cigarettes and vaping products — the same tax rate now applied to conventional cigarettes.”

It’s just the kind of thing where I look at this and I think, at what point are we going to say to ourselves we’ve taxed these guys enough?

One of the things the governor points to is that more and more kids are using the vaping cigarettes. He says he’s seeking the vaping tax as a way to deter teenagers and adolescents from using the products.

But among those students that are stepping forward and choosing to do something along those lines, if they don’t choose smoking but instead do the vaping and they otherwise would have been doing the smoking, that’s a win. You don’t want to make the two equal.

If you make the two equal, then you’re causing young people to move in the direction that you don’t want them to go to. Yes, nicotine is addictive, and we don’t know everything about vaping yet, but one thing we do know is that in all likelihood vaping is much better for you than smoking. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy. But one of our goals of public health is to get people to make less destructive choices.

We should acknowledge people are going to choose a product. And if they’re now choosing a vaping product instead of cigarettes, we should be able to say well that is a positive thing. Instead we panic about the potential health hazards of the new health choice.

It’s allowed people I know to quit smoking. I’ve been thinking about getting my mom one of these vaping cigarettes because she has struggled with smoking for years.

But if you make the vaping product so that it’s exactly the same cost as cigarettes, why would people switch? If you don’t have that lack of expense and it’s just as expensive, people aren’t going to feel that same urgency to switch to the new product.

Instead of celebrating a public health triumph, we have the effort to tax the new option into the same category as cigarettes. That really doesn’t make any sense at all if you want people to make choices for themselves that will make them live longer, healthier and hopefully happier lives.

Taken from Tuesday’s edition of The David Boze Show on 770 KTTH.


The David Boze Show

Seattle self-defense expert Lawrence Kane said the most common natural reaction for a person angry ...
Eric Mandel

Seattle self-defense expert: Would take a ‘miracle’ for Ben Carson’s story to be accurate

If the presidential race wasn't bizarre enough, we're now calling in experts to prove whether a potential American president lied about his ability to stab a friend.
7 years ago
After 13 years on the air, David Boze announces he’s leaving KTTH. (KTTH image)...
David Boze

David Boze announces he’s leaving KTTH

I leave the station I helped found in the hands of a great company and good people. I am incredibly grateful for the loyalty and kindness of my listeners.
7 years ago
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson smiles during a campaign rally at West Memphis High Sc...
Jacob Rummel

Ben Carson tries to explain involvement with ‘propaganda’

It wasn't an intentional attempt to appeal to young voters, but Ben Carson did end up the victim of a situation youth fall prey to on a regular basis.
8 years ago
Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy prays with players on the field. (AP)...
Jacob Rummel

Praying Bremerton coach garners support from legislators at state and federal level

As Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy continues to defy the school district by praying at midfield after games, he's starting to garner support in legislatures at the state and federal level.
8 years ago
If voters pass the I-122 initiative, the average Seattle voter would be allotted four $25 vouchers,...
Eric Mandel

Former Seattle Ethics Commission Chair calls I-122 flawed

The aim of the I-122 campaign is to give power back to regular voters by creating a way to publicly finance city and mayoral elections. But will it?
8 years ago
Mayor Ed Murray’s Move Seattle levy promises maintenance and repair, including bridge moderni...
Kipp Robertson

Move Seattle levy raises more questions than it answers

The proposed $930 million Seattle transportation levy might look good on the surface, but it doesn't go very deep.
8 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Does Gov. Jay Inslee want to keep people smoking cigarettes?