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I think that higher taxes on tobacco products would reduce the number of young people who start smoking -- and I believe an additional dollar per pack is not too much. The time has come to declare the truth about tobacco products:

Nicotine is an addictive drug.

Nicotine should be available only by prescription.

Warning labels on packages should occupy 20 percent of the label and be centered on the package, not hidden at the bottom. The current labels are not noticeable enough.

I believe a majority of our people do not wish to see the sale of addictive products continue to grow among our children and grandchildren. We should support stronger legislation and taxes. These taxes will only hurt the fools who ignore the facts. I'm not in favor of any increase in general taxes, but I do support those aimed at reducing smoking. Perhaps if they were high enough, more people would quit smoking or never start.

This would greatly reduce the number of young people rushing to early health problems. Life insurance costs 50 percent less for non-smokers, and for good reason.

Yes, this is America and people have the right of personal choice to do what they want with their lives. Just don't blow smoke my way or on my grandchildren.

Richard F. Miles
Town of Tonawanda

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