Under the Dome

Legal cigarette advertising

Tobacco companies and growers bought full page ads in several newspapers across the state today to help boost opposition to a possible increase in the state cigarette tax.

The newly formed N.C. Taxpayers Alliance emphasizes the estimated 50,000 jobs in the state linked to tobacco production and warns that higher taxes will harm the industry. Gov. Beverly Perdue has proposed a $1-per-pack increase, though the Senate is expected to reduce that number.

"It will hurt farm workers and tobacco factory workers," the ad says, "It will hurt convenience stores and their workers."

The ads encourage readers to call their local legislators and encourage them to oppose a tax increase. The advertisements appeared in newspapers in Wilmington, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Wilson, Greenville, Burlington, Gastonia and Boone.

The members of the alliance are tobacco companies: Reynolds American, Lorillard, Universal Leaf and Swedish Match, along with the N.C. Tobacco Growers Association and the Cigar Association of America.

See a copy of the ad in the Wilmington Star-News by clicking the attachment.



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Legal cigarette lying

Over the years, I've paid a much higher price on behalf of the tobacco industry, but I'm sure that won't make their ad.

- Higher health insurance premiums and lower benefits.
- farmland dedicated to tobacco instead of food.
- countless jobs lost to manufacturing improvments/consolidation and/or shipping jobs overseas.
- rotting corpses of buildings left behind, costing millions of dollars to bring up to code.

Counting convience store workers among the 50,000 "tobacco employees" is misleading to say the least.

Why should we be sympathetic to an industry whose sole purpose is to get rich off the addiction and eventual death of our neighbors? They think they're doing us a favor by killing off Joe Camel, yet Teen smoking is only slightly in decline, not squashed.

As a taxpayer, do I have any say in the "taxpayers alliance"? Of course not, I don't have any Camel cash to spend on full page ads.

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