Letters to the editor for Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Raise cigarette tax by $1

I am a cancer survivor and a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and am dedicated to making cancer’s devastation a thing of the past. One of the leading preventable causes of disease and death is tobacco use and, still, about 20 percent of Nevadans use tobacco.

One of the best ways to reduce the use of tobacco is to raise the price of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Nevada’s current tax on cigarettes is 80 cents a pack. Gov. Sandoval has suggested raising the price of cigarettes by 40 cents a pack, and while I am glad the governor is concerned with the low tax rate on cigarettes in Nevada, science shows that an increase of a dollar a pack would have a much more significant impact on the health of Nevadans and on the economy.

Consider that 15,400 adults would quit smoking with an increase of a dollar versus the 6,100 at 40 cents; and that 10,200 kids under 18 won’t start smoking at the dollar-a-pack increase in the cigarette tax versus 4,100 at 40 cents a pack.

From an economic standpoint, Nevada would raise an additional $70.78 million with the dollar-a-pack increase versus $33.10 million with the governor’s proposed 40-cent-a-pack cigarette tax increase.

There is no good reason not to raise cigarette taxes by a dollar a pack in Nevada. I hope Gov. Sandoval and our lawmakers agree and make this change for health.

Jennifer Nordstrom


President Obama is one on high horse

At the White House national prayer breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 5, President Barack Obama chided Christians against mounting their moral “high horse” to condemn the Islamic State’s burning of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh — alive — down to a pile of smoldering charcoal. The president’s objective in so doing was to cancel out recent acts of Islamic State evil by overlaying it with “Christian cruelty” from a thousand years ago.

The only reason to invoke the history of man’s inhumanity to man, from hundreds or thousands of years ago, is to measure how much we have civilized our behavior coming forward into the here and now — but not so for President Obama.

The objective of his reach back into the antiquity of “slavery” and the “Crusades” is to beat America over the head with slavery-guilt and to establish “moral equivalency” between the behavior of the Islamic State today and the behavior of Christians from a thousand years ago.

If anyone is on a moral “high horse” in the matter of judging the evil of the Islamic State burning to death a living person, it is President Barack Obama, who refuses, yet again, to condemn the evil of radical Islamic militants.

Orlis Trone



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