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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Are we on the "home stretch" for making public health history in South Carolina? ... or not?


The next several days are, once again, "make-it-or-break-it" days for
achieving any cigarette tax increase in our state this year.

Our state legislators have heard "our" citizen-voices on raising the
cigarette tax for the past eight years (at least); and, finally, the state
General Assembly has spoken in the affirmative this past week !!!

Now, "we" citizens once again must vigorously try to make our governor hear
our voices. Governor Sanford's press releases are all phrased to make us
think he is listening... BUT, he is not hearing us -- the people of South

Consider this:
Death is not "revenue neutral" -- 5,900 South Carolinians die each year
directly caused by tobacco use.

So, why does Governor Sanford keep insisting that an increase in our state's
cigarette tax needs to be "revenue neutral"?

Need some more inspiration?
a.. check out the nicotine cessation educator's "Letter to the Editor"
contribution in today's The State newspaper at:

a.. then, visit and speak your piece
straight to Governor Sanford!
What else?
a.. Yesterday, in Columbia, a large five-day statewide grassroots effort
was launched by a group of preventive health advocates. Their goal: stir
up enough public outcry over the next four days that our governor will
indeed be too embarrassed to "wield his veto pen" at all -- maybe, just
maybe, we can shame him into just letting the bill go un-signed and thus
become law "by default" after the governor's standard five-day signing
period expires (Friday counts as Day One; weekend days count, but the
Memorial Day holiday does not count, I am told).

b.. Please join in on this important effort --
a.. Go right now to the American Lung Association's site

and click on the "Speak Up! Send a Message to
Governor Sanford" link, and submit a "Letter to the Editor" to The Herald!
b.. Let's flood The Herald with our voices, and maybe they'll print a
whole page of our letters one day next week -- given that The Herald's
editorial board has already gone on record yesterday saying "Hike the
cigarette tax" [see: ]
Dum Spiro Spero !
Dr. Dave Keely

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