Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Md.'s tobacco, alcohol tax increases are saving lives [Letter]

We at the Maryland Health Care For All Coalition, representing hundreds of faith, community, labor, business and health care groups from across Maryland, hope that when Attorney General Doug Gansler and the Republican candidates for governor criticize the "40 new taxes" enacted under the O'Malley administration they are not including in their criticism the life saving tobacco and alcohol tax increases approved in 2007, 2011 and 2012. The one-dollar per pack cigarette tax increase enacted in 2007, which Attorney General Gansler supported, has helped to reduce cigarette smoking by 32 percent in Maryland, almost double the national average, and by 40 percent among teens. This has saved tens of thousands of Marylanders from early, preventable tobacco caused deaths. And, the money raised by this tobacco tax increase has funded health care coverage for over 100,000 lower income parents.

According to top national experts, the alcohol tax increase enacted in 2011 is likely to have reduced underage and excessive alcohol use and related negative consequences across the state. The money raised by the alcohol tax increase has been funding both health care needs as well as helping people with developmental disabilities, mental health issues and drug and alcohol addictions.

Finally, in 2012, we increased for the first time in many years the tax on little cigars and smokeless tobacco, which is doing much to deter young people from becoming addicted to these deadly products.

Maryland has made great public health progress since 2007 by increasing tobacco and alcohol taxes. We hope that every candidate for governor will make clear that they will not roll back this progress. We hope to work closely with the new governor and General Assembly to build on this progress to achieve our common goal of a more healthy Maryland for all our people.

Vincent DeMarco, Baltimore

The writer is president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, Inc.

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • What did Hogan tell the NRA?

    What did Hogan tell the NRA?

    Based on what Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan has said about gun control, it's hard to see what the National Rifle Association would find appealing about him. He has said that although he opposed the strict new gun control legislation Gov. Martin O'Malley championed two years ago,...

  • Statistics don't tell the whole story of Hogan's win

    Statistics don't tell the whole story of Hogan's win

    I must disagree with commentator Thomas F. Schaller's column on Maryland's gubernatorial election ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11).

  • Polls are not in public interest

    Polls are not in public interest

    Mileah Kromer discusses the reasons that the results of pre-election polls concerning the race for governor were largely incorrect, particularly the timing of the polls on which media and the campaigns relied ("Hogan and Brown: tortoise and hare?" Nov. 12). I do not doubt that she is largely correct,...

  • Race played no role in Hogan win

    Race played no role in Hogan win

    I read Thomas Schaller's column ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11) regarding Larry Hogan's win over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the 2014 Maryland gubernatorial election. He basically states that the areas Mr. Hogan won had more white people then black.

  • Leopold: New governors should be sworn in before the General Assembly session

    Leopold: New governors should be sworn in before the General Assembly session

    Sixteen years ago, I sponsored legislation that called for a constitutional amendment that would have allowed incoming governors to take office prior to the commencement of the General Assembly ("Hogan names ex-Senator Neall to transition team," Nov. 12). The bill, which would have allowed the...

  • Enough with the talk of race in analyzing elections

    Enough with the talk of race in analyzing elections

    Race, racism, racist. I am so tired of hearing these words whenever a candidate loses or a policy is defeated ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11). Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown lost to Larry Hogan because Mr. Brown ran one of the worst campaigns in recent Maryland elections. He even failed...

  • The Republican revolution hits Dundalk

    The Republican revolution hits Dundalk

    The recent election was historic for Maryland. The citizens of Maryland voted in a Republican for governor and three new Republican county executives, District 6 is completely Republican now and there were many other Republican winners. There are now 14 Republican senators and 50 Republican delegates....

  • Is Hogan inevitable in 2018?

    Is Hogan inevitable in 2018?

    I couldn't decide whether I was more amused or bemused by Richard J. Cross III's op-ed about the possible Democratic candidates for governor four years from now ("Who will challenge Hogan in 2018?" Nov. 15).

Comments
Loading

81°