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Commentary: A "Rebate" for Quitting Smoking

By Dr. Donald Trump

Buffalo, NY – I have got a deal for smokers that they should not pass up. If someone offered you $2200 to quit smoking would you listen? Now, I'm not going recite all the bad things we know smoking does to your health. You've all heard those statistics before and frankly they don't really tell the story of how families have their lives turned inside out when they are told that a loved one has terminal cancer. Yet, I'm amazed at how resilient smokers can be. They rationalize their smoking until it is too late. That's why I'm suggesting that smokers start paying attention to something that is going to have an effect on them right now - not in their lungs, but in their wallets.

Here's the deal: On June 3rd the price of a pack of cigarettes went up $1.25 per pack. The state tax on a pack of cigarettes is $2.75; add to that the Federal tax of 39 cents per pack, the $3-$4 profit margin that the cigarette companies claim per pack and the typical pack a day smoker will now be required to pay $6-$7 to get their daily fix of nicotine or about $2200 a year.

If the health risks of smoking won't move you to quit, maybe this cash rebate of $2200 will! All you have to do to claim the rebate is put down your smokes. You'll keep the Marlboro Man from reaching into your wallet to claim your hard earned cash. Think of all you could do with $2200 every year. It could be a family vacation, a down payment on a new car, new home theater system, a college fund. Let's not forget the health benefits; your odds of being around to enjoy the extra cash will improve each day you don't smoke.

The New York State Smokers Quitline, which is located at Roswell Park, can help you get started in earning your cash rebate. The Quitline provides free (that's right FREE) patches, gum and lozenges as well as phone support to those smokers who are ready to make a commitment to quit. Just visit CWRU Web servernysmokefree.com. The phone number is 1-866-697-8487. We've helped thousands of New Yorkers beat their nicotine addiction.

I salute our courageous state leaders for supporting the cigarette tax increase. Frankly, they can't make it high enough for me as our research shows that when cigarette taxes go up, consumption goes down, and when fewer people smoke lives are saved. So, for those of us at Roswell Park the concern about smoking is not about money, its personal. Contact the Quitline, we'd rather not see you later. Start earning your rebate today.

Listener-Commentator Dr. Donald Trump is president of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

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