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Readers Respond

Everyone pays smoking's price [Letter]

Frederick Mathis wrote in favor of having the state legislature raise the age to buy cigarettes ("Raise the tobacco purchase age to 21," Jan. 26). Many people decry a government action such as this as an intervention into one's free choice. Respecting that position, that it is one's Fourth Amendment right not to have private choices infringed upon by the government, may I suggest that taxpayers who subsidize their choices with eventual Medicare costs or augmented health care costs and premiums have the right not have to pay for the free and poor choices of those who willingly choose to behave in a habit that is documented as being dangerous and destructive to their health?

Now, we would all be free from the burden of government intervention. One may choose to smoke and others may be free of the requirement to pay for those who choose to smoke and eventually have a medical financial burden.

Jim Mundy, Ellicott City

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