“[Each year] tobacco kills 400,000 people [and costs] $200 billion [to treat. Alcohol] kills 100,000 a year and costs $200 billion…”

Doug Robinson: Utah’s Glen Hanson has had an impressive career – Deseret News – July 4, 2015

Excerpt:

Testifying before the [Utah] state Legislature a few years ago, he argued that the tax on tobacco should be raised as a means to attack teen smoking. “I said 90 percent of those who smoke start as teens, and if you increase the cost of tobacco you will decrease use. It’s as simple as that . . . ”

Then Hanson winced at the argument made against it. “They said if you raise the tax,” he recalls, “people will go to Wyoming to buy tobacco and Utah will lose revenue!” Hanson lets that sentence hang there for a moment, allowing the daftness of such an argument to settle. “They passed the law, raised the tax and, guess what’s happened? Smoking has declined almost 30 percent just as research indicated. And lawmakers complain because of lost revenue!”

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