North Dakota state legislators sent two highly restrictive abortion bills to the governor to sign: banning all abortions at 6 weeks and banning all abortions for genetic anomalies. Rep. Bette Grande introduced the bills, because apparently she looks at legislation “from the life side of things.”
Except smokers. Grande and North Dakota legislators aren’t concerned about the lives of smokers. Not even the lives of young people ages 12-17 who are potential smokers. This lack of concern for cigarette deaths is clear as the Peace Garden state ranks as one of the least expensive places to buy cigarettes in the U.S. (46th out of the 50 states and D.C.) and cigarette price affects consumption. A lot. The state tax on cigarettes in North Dakota is a measly $0.44 per pack compared with the national average of $1.48. New York weighs in at a whopping $4.35.
Let’s talk a bit about kids. Because saving lives of children is what the Republican lawmakers are all about, right? Smoking kills people and youth smoking prevalence is directly linked to cigarette price. In 2009 when the federal sales tax on cigarettes increased by a measly $0.60, 10% fewer kids reported smoking.
Oh, and let’s not forget premature babies. Smoking bans reduce the incidence of premature births (the #1 cause of infant death). Making cigarettes more expensive could reduce maternal smoking and save innocent babies, even the pre-born, not just troublesome adolescents!
Hey Bette Grande (and all your cronies)…
Want to reduce abortion? Publicly fund long-acting reversible contraception.
Want to save lives? Raise the price of cigarettes.
Want to ignore science and control women? Enact laws about abortion.