Dr. Mary Cushman (right), President of the American Heart Association's Vermont board, recently had an opinion piece published in the Burlington Free Press regarding prevention, health care costs, and taxing unhealthy products. Check out what she had to say...
"If we want to get serious about reducing health care costs we need to focus on prevention. Sometimes that’s not the easiest choice. No one likes raising taxes. But taxing unhealthy products like cigarettes and sugar sweetened beverages can deter people from buying these products.
In the end, that’s a bonus for the people who consume less of these and a bonus for Vermonters who are already paying health care expenses and taxes to address the harms caused by these products.
Yes, it would have cost 80 cents extra for a pack of cigarettes (just 4 cents more for a cigarette) in Vermont if we had implemented the tobacco tax increase that was proposed this past session. But this small price to pay by smokers would have prevented 1,900 kids from smoking and saved over $70 million in long-term health costs for Vermont."
Share your thoughts! What do you think about tobacco tax increases and efforts to establish a sugar-sweetened beverage tax in some states and cities, as a way to help prevent diseases and cut health care spending? Tell us in the comments below.