Initiative 185 leads to health benefits

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Ever thought about why vaping/e-cigarettes come in berry and bubble gum “flavors?”

Big Tobacco has reportedly spent $12 million against Initiative 185/Healthy Montana/Tobacco Tax. This new line of products that appeal to the younger crowd will continue to entice them and lead them to become tobacco users, thus assuring tobacco profits for the future.

Who of your family and friends are dealing with high blood pressure, stroke, lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer due to tobacco use? In Montana, 28.4 percent of cancer deaths are caused by smoking. Currently treating tobacco-related diseases among Montana Medicaid recipients alone costs more than $81 million per year.

Tobacco taxes were last raised here in Montana in 2005; what lobby do you think has prevented that for 13 years? The 2018 Healthy Montana Initiative will raise taxes on cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and vaping/e-cigarette products. The funds will support the 100,000 Montanans who received access to healthcare through ACA, veterans’ nursing homes and suicide prevention, help seniors and people with disabilities stay in their homes and continue “quit smoking” programs.

We need our local healthcare facilities, Clark Fork Valley Hospital that employs 280, and Mineral County Hospital that employs 70. And the hospitals need a population that has coverage for healthcare.

Vote “Yes” on I-185 for a healthy Montana.

— Donna Maughlin, Plains

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