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Joseph Jaworski’s letter conveniently leaves out important effects of a tobacco tax increase.

It is common knowledge that the tar levels on cigarette packets are highly misleading, with some 1mg cigarettes actually producing 20mg. It is not the tar that addicts people, but the nicotine. Going to high tar cigarettes just makes your lungs blacker.

The biggest health outcome that tobacco tax increases bring is making them too expensive for children to buy. Keeping kids away from tobacco is the best way to improve the nation’s health, and lower health costs mean less government expenditure on tobacco-related disease. As smokers die out fewer kids get addicted to the cancer sticks, a good outcome all round. Good news for all with the exception of tobacco companies, and tobacco growing regions like Taragi in Kumamoto, where Jaworski lives.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

chris flynn

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