Commentary: Are cheap cigarettes pro-life?

This editorial appeared in The Lexington Herald-Leader.

Since smoking kills 440,000 Americans a year, it can hardly be called pro-life.

Yet a good many lawmakers who describe themselves as strongly pro-life are also committed to keeping cigarettes cheap and, therefore, easily available to kids.

This curiosity of Kentucky politics came to mind while reading a recent post by political writer Pat Crowley of The Kentucky Enquirer: "Chamber clashing with lawmakers over taxes."

You might assume that the Chamber of Commerce, which looks out for business, would be against higher taxes while lawmakers, who are supposed to look out for everyone, would be trying to raise some money to patch the state's gaping budgetary wounds.

But you'd be wrong.

This is Kentucky, after all. Northern Kentucky to be precise, where Republicans control the legislative delegation.

Both the Northern Kentucky and statewide chambers of commerce are endorsing an increase in the state's paltry tax on cigarettes. But, Crowley reports, the reaction to that idea from the region's lawmakers ranged from chilly to flat out rejection.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Lexington Herald-Leader.

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