Tobacco Kills More People Than ATVs

(03/03/2004)

Dear Editor,

I wish to commend our legislators for their zeal in hammering out the ATV bill. I believe loss of any preventable life is a shame.

However, I would like to know how our distinguished legislators can even debate the question of increasing the tobacco tax. Tobacco kills 3800 West Virginians annually (ATV's 27). Tobacco should be outlawed! If any other consumer product killed 12 West Virginians daily there would be no debate. If the tobacco interest would cease their financial support of our Honorable Senators, Delegates and other "leaders", all of the sudden, the atrocity would become apparent and there would be no debate.

By the way, aren't they guilty of treason? Their Oath states that they "will not accept or receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing, from any corporation, company, or person for any vote or influence…" Are we naïve enough to think that the Tobacco Mob gives money to these campaigns without expecting any favors in return? Do the tobacco companies spend $20 million a year on lobbying efforts because they're sensitive people?

How much tobacco caused economic devastation do we have to endure, how many more tobacco deaths?

Are our legislatures any better than the corrupt "governments" run by the drug cartels? Breaking this awful addiction and holding our leaders and the tobacco dealers accountable is crucial to the future we leave our children!

Jose (Tony) Richards

HC73 Box 52A

Minnora, WV 25268

655-8369 (hm) 342-6600 (wk)