January 29th, 2009
01:19 PM ET

Does quitting smoking stimulate the economy?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As you know, the House passed an $819-billion stimulus package yesterday. Now a different version of the legislation will make its way through the Senate.

A version of the stimulus bill includes $75 million to get people to quit smoking.

That version includes $75-million to get people to quit smoking. It was sponsored by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin who says the idea is to ultimately reduce health-care costs.

To make his case, Harkin cited reports that show smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases and costs $110-billion a year in health costs.

Seems straight forward: Get people to quit smoking and they won't drain the health care system. Perhaps that's the same line of thinking that went into the $400-million the Senate included to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. The House version included $335-million for that.

Some of the $75-million to get people to kick cigarettes will go to the Department of Health and Human Services to bolster anti-smoking campaigns that already exist. Another chunk will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for equipment that tests the contents in cigarettes. Do we need this? Cigarette packages plainly tell you smoking will probably eventually kill you. And I find it very hard to believe we need additional equipment to test the contents in cigarettes. Tobacco and carcinogens would seem to cover it.

Here’s my question to you: How does getting people to stop smoking stimulate the economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Casey from Sebastopol, California writes:
As much as I back President Obama's plans, I think this stimulus bill should not include that kind of stuff typically promoted by Congress. Save it for the health care bill later.

JW from Atlanta, Georgia writes:
Depends on whether you're an undertaker or a retirement community worker. Depends on whose economy you want to stimulate.

ST writes:
I think it can go both ways. For smokers to stop, that means they have more money to spend on other things and this could cut down on healthcare expenses. I have relatives who smoke and can't quit, but at the same time can barely afford the cigarettes. On the other hand, this could put a lot of people out of work. I live in North Carolina, so this could really affect our way of life here.

HD from Phoenix writes:
Jack, I do not see how this stimulates the economy. However, as a registered respiratory therapist I have personally witnessed many ways in which smokers place huge financial burdens on society in terms of insurance costs and in terms of financial burdens to state sponsored health care systems. All of these expenses are completely avoidable if people simply do not smoke.

Bill from Michigan writes:
Heck no, smokers generate millions, if not billions, of dollars in tax revenue on tobacco purchases, not to mention all the jobs they create in the healthcare industry when they are treated for heart disease, cancer, bronchitis, etc. Just imagine the loss of jobs and revenue if we actually had a society of health conscious people.

Ron from Florida writes:
Did we or did we not have a better economy when everybody smoked including the belching steel mills and factories of the "Rust Belt"?

Filed under: Stimulus Plan • US Economy
soundoff (617 Responses)
  1. Dave from Orlando

    Not for the tobacco companies.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  2. JD in NH

    People who don't smoke are generally healthier and more physically capable of working. In addition, medical expenses associated with smoking-related diseases would decrease for both the smokers and those subjected to second hand smoke. Thirdly, the depreciation for the odor of cigarette smoke in real estate, vehicle resale and other items would be eliminated. I know of an actual condo that sold tens of thousands of dollars below market value because it had to be gutted to get rid of the stench of cigarettes. So . . . yes . . . it makes sense as an economic stimulus.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  3. Terry- Greensburg, IN

    Does getting people to stop smoking provide economic stimulus?
    __I thought I'd think on this for a minute, and I wanted this screen ready when I came up with something.
    Hell No! The way they keep raising taxes on cigarettes, you wonder why 'they need as economic stimulus at all.
    They keep raising taxes on booze and cigs-their going to loose a bunch.
    I'm gona roll my own and make moon. That's better than a tax credit.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  4. Terry from North Carolina

    I live in Tobacco Land ( North Carolina ) all this will do is put more people on unemployment as this is the home of RJ Reynolds. I am sure the people of Virgina, home of Phillip Morris will tell you the same thing.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  5. TE from OK

    This could go both ways – I am not sure about this but quitting smoking will help make one healthier in order to live a healthier life.

    A smoker is rated – it causes all sorts of illnesses.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  6. Billy G in Las Vegas

    probably not BUT it will save the government BILLIONS in healthcare costs in the future.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  7. george james

    one doesn,t have anything to do with the other if people smoke so be it if smoking had anything to with the economy people would,ve stop long ago.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  8. Katiec Pekin, IL

    As a 73 year old smoker I feel I am able to make my own decisions.
    Granted, it is not healthy, but so are alot of things. The stimulous
    would be a waste of money as we smokers are stubborn, maybe
    to our detriment, and do not like the government telling us how
    to live our lives. That goes for most things.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  9. Matthew, Cedar Rapids

    I don't know. Fewer smokers means less paid in health care for smoking related illness, but it also means less in revenue from tobacco taxes. Personally, I don't care if anyone smokes or not, so long as it's not around me.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  10. Sharon from Virginia

    I don't know I am not a smoker. The only think I think this country should do for smoker is ban it from all building, parks, eateries and any other public place. Give me a break with money for smokers and for so call birth control. Take it all out of the package.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  11. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    No it doesn't and things like this should not be put into bills especially one on the economy. I don't know if things like this were put into the bill so that they can be taken out to make it look like they are giving up something? But whatever it is they should stop it. The Congress acts like a bunch of car salesman with the little tricks that they tried to pull on the American public, instead of acting like a member of Congress. Maybe that is why both occupations along with lawyers is mentioned in the same breath.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  12. odessa

    i can't tell people what to do when it comes to smoking...smoking industry wants to make money while others are trying to quit smoking for health reasons.only time will tell..

    January 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  13. Scott

    As disgusting as this habit is, it would probably add another knife into the heart of the economy if folks decided to quit. These nasty little "cancer sticks/coffin nails" cost what, $5.00 a pack? Multiply that by all the degenerates that smoke, and you can easily see why we "NEED" a few of them to keep on puffing.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  14. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    Yes, my wife is in the process of quitting smoking, and right now she is such a Capital B, that I stay at work longer, thus stimulating the econmy.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  15. Scott from Milwaukee

    As disgusting as this habit is, it would probably add another knife into the heart of the economy if folks decided to quit. These nasty little “cancer sticks/coffin nails” cost what, $5.00 a pack? Multiply that by all the degenerates that smoke, and you can easily see why we “NEED” a few of them to keep on puffing.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  16. Rosalind Seth

    since when is your own phisical health no longer a good enough reason to quit sucking fire into your lungs?

    January 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  17. Duane..Bloomington,In

    Yes, if you are in the Nicotine patch industry,,,,,a real booming business from what I hear!!

    January 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  18. cy gardner

    Well, if they live and work longer and spend less time in the hospital. Yeah. If they start eating (and paying for) junk food and gain thirty pounds. Yeah. cy gardner arlington, va

    January 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  19. William A. Marley

    When I don't smoke, I eat...and eat...and eat...much more than I smoke. With the exorbadent food tax in Oklahoma, it should at least stimulate the Axis of Evil James Inhoff, Coburn, and Mitch (i hate my mother)McConnell.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  20. Ofar Nine Thawsand from California

    Of course it does, Jack. Everyone knows that people eat more when they quit smoking.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  21. Anthony Smith

    In a way, yes! It will mean more production at work. Watching coworkers constantly smoking outside and breaking the law smoking inside while also texting and using their cell phones, no wonder our production stinks in this country! Also, if Americans stopped smoking, we would save billions in healthcare costs!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  22. Conor in Chicago


    I actually started "the patch" on Monday. If anything getting people to quit would hurt the economy as it would rid the states of much needed tax revenue. It's actually a great scam when you think about it: Allow people to get addicted to the most addictive substance on the planet and then consistently raise the taxes on it so that you have a sure source of increased tax revenue to count on when doing the budget. It costs like $.90 to produce a pack of smokes and at least in Chicago (Cook County) it costs nearly $8.00 to purchase a pack. More than half of that cost is taxes. Mass quitting may be great in helping healthcare in the long run but in the short term it would likely be disastrous the states' tax income.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  23. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    no it doesn't stimulate the economy the smoker pay tax and get sick which stimulate the economy encourage more to smoke is the way to go

    January 29, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  24. Jenny Rome Ga

    Probably not but they may live long enough to experience another boom if they do quit smoking.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  25. Ed

    Let me go burn one and think about that Jack. Ok I'm back. No Jack, quitting smoking would not stimulate the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  26. Mike, Syracuse NY

    I guess they're counting on billions in chewing gum sales.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  27. don in naples, florida

    I think a fiscally conservative government would stimulate the economy.– the buck stops with our leaders. They need to tighten up their belts, take pay cuts, and learn to live off of the tax revenue the government takes in every year.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  28. Queen (utah)

    Of course, quitting smoking will expand our lives long enough to help pay of the big debt we have gotten ourselves in. We are going to need as much life line as possible.....

    January 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  29. tom, madison, wisconsin

    Quitting is not good!! Just like illegal drugs keep the Mexican,
    Colombian, and Afghan economies going. Just think of the population numbers we would have if no one smoked. A disastrous thought!

    Worst of all just think of the politicians and lobbyists that would loose income or even loose their jobs. All the sick and dying is a small enough price to keep them in the chips, isn't it?

    Seriously Jack, it is stupid to smoke and there is no excuse for using tobacco. I know, I once smoked 5 packs a day and quit cold turkey in 1976. It can be done.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  30. Mickie

    Jack, I am a former smoker and I can tell you that having smoked for 53 years, I was considered one of the most productive in my field. I don't see how getting people to quit will stimulate the economy since a lot of the non-smokers that I worked with spent most of the day on personal phone calls. I would also like to know why people are still allowed and even encouraged to harass smokers but if anybody were to harass a known drug user or alcoholic, they would be chastised and/or fired from their job. Smokers aren't smoking in their presence at work any more. Drug addicts and alcoholics get a full 28-day, fully insurance paid, in-hospital stay and their employer must keep their job for them, while insurance doesn't even pay for aids to quit smoking. I do not support anyone smoking but it's just as much an addiction as drugs or alcohol and just as costly to the insurance companies (more so since smokers don't get a paid recovery) as drugs and alcohol.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  31. Ron Dunedin FL

    Did we or did we not have a better economy when everybody smoked including the belching steel mills and factories of the "Rust Belt" ? Good job anti-smokers!

    January 29, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  32. Peter Fern Park, Fl.

    Yes. The average cost per pack is about $4. A pack a day is $28/week. If 2 people in the house smoke their anual saving would be nearly $3000/year. More the the proposed tax rebate. $3000 can but a lot of stuff.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  33. Dashaye(Bronx,ny)


    January 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  34. Annie, Atlanta

    Heavy taxes on cigarettes funneled into health care would probably be a better short and long term solution. That would work for alcohol, too.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  35. James Conn

    Let me get this right. The government receives money on the SIN TAX and payout money on the stimulus. The largest increase on government is medical which % has risen faster then oil. In comparing smoking to the effects of chemical companies, I think we are concentrating on the wrong problem. Jim Logansport, In.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  36. jeff in georgia

    I worked at a Chevrolet car dealer, in Commerce,Ga. where the service manager was a heavy smoker, and this guy missed so many phone calls because he was smoking that it was sad, in the car business, when the phone rings its a customer on the line who wants or needs to spend money on their car, so I would say yes , it can stimulate the economy,by preventing lost productivity, by the way, I am a non smoker and was laid off my job, while the smoking service manager is still there missing phone calls today.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  37. Barbara from Ohio

    Some of the people in Congress stopping smoking whatever it is is what is really needed to stimulate the economy. Just watching some of those House Republicans talk yesterday troubled me. Is it only me that sees these people as caring more about their fiefdoms and friends and not about everyday Americans. The only reason a lot of them are still in office through all this is because they gerrymandered districts to ensure less representative government. 90% of the American people can be for something and it doesn't matter to them. Ike, Lincoln and Reagan and probably all flippingin their graves. They had more practicailty and principle than partisan approaches.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  38. Jim

    Surely anyone can understand the basic mathematics Jack... When I gave up smoking cigarettes as a teenager, a pack was still well under a dollar. Now they average $4.50 in my area and that's considered cheap.

    My wife averages 1-1/2 packs a day – that's a little over $200 a month and almost $2,500 a year. I'd much rather she quit and have her sending money to Grandma Moses on E-Bay for her little Christmas do-dads than aimlessly stick it in the pockets of a bunch of fat tobacco barons and local bureaucrats who find ways to creat more "sin tiaxes" when they feel underpaid. At least I know Grandma will spend the money on her groceries.

    Jim W. – Lake In The Hills, IL

    January 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  39. jim Toronto

    Quiting smoking means more clean air
    more clean air means a healthier intake
    healthier intake means a better output
    better output means more productivity
    more productivity means a healthier economy...

    January 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  40. William Joseph Miller

    This question is a no-brainer. Smoking costs this economy boodles of money. Think of the costs in medical bills alone. In addition, tobacco production contributes to global warming and environmental destruction. We must force the tobacco industry to pay for the damage and destruction they have wrought on the planet.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  41. mac from traverse city Michigan

    No and if the democrats dont put there agendas and pork projects aside and get down to the business of fixing the economy, Than Obamas vision of change and the peoples hopefullness for this administration is gonna sink like a meatball in a pirhanna pond

    January 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  42. Ruthie from Charlotte NC

    Well Jack,

    Let's see, the sale of nicotine substitutes will rise, as will the sale of gum, Altoids, popcorn, etc. However, then people won’t need as much medical care but there will be greater attendance at the gyms and also the stimulus from all of those smoking cessation groups.

    Oh and I almost forgot, since it seems this question can’t be answered some fancy research company will now get a contract to study this perplexing question

    Ruthie from Charlotte, NC

    January 29, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  43. Mike Nunn

    I fail to see how quitting smoking will stimulate the economy. I purchase cartons and believe that I am stimulating the economy by smoking. I realize the health issues but it is my choice. Anyway I only smoke when I gamble.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  44. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    first no tobacco company will lose money from this measure i.e they make enough! Second, people choosing a healthier lifestyle should by default reduce healthcare costs!

    January 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  45. Greg, Ontario

    Well all those millions that Americans pay their doctors to help them die from cancer can be spent on other stuff. Instead of buying a coffin you buy a car. Instead of staying in a hospital for $1500/hr you can spend a week up here in Canada Jack and all the traveling by car will help in many industries. The people that are driving now will be able to fly. This list of effects from a smokeless America is endless.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  46. gerry in toronto

    Jack, Obama has stated this bill provides stimulous and a down payment on things to help America save money in the long term. If all Americans quit smoking, health care costs would probably drop by 50% for all American's and all American manufacturers.

    That would make all GM, Ford,Chrysler and numerous other corporations profitable overnight. Seems to me it's not only a good idea, but rather brilliant.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  47. Thomas

    JACK !
    As long as you don't switch from LUCKY STRIKS to KOOLS .

    Smoking is sublime,
    each time I cut off the eleventh finger it grows back a few months later, Start ,Stop, start stop.

    Yes I stimulate the economy each time I quit , Therapist, nicaret gum, hypnotist , support groups , ect.

    Yet smoking supports the economy as well, Inhalers, oxygen tent, chemo therapy , cigaret lighters , matches , and ashtrays , radiologists .

    I would rather save my money and my life,
    I will once again cut off the 11th finger and pray for one a day at a time separation from the coffin nails !

    Jack how long ago did you stop ?

    January 29, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  48. joy

    yes. it will save the govt BILLIONS of dollars on heathcare cost.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  49. JR Salazar

    I don't think quitting smoking will stimulate the economy more than you to quit asking question for the sake of putting them on the air. It's not gonna make as much a difference, period.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  50. David in San Diego

    Say what? How about better questions>

    January 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  51. Sandi, Chicago

    Living in Chicago (Cook County), IL with the highest retail taxes in the nation – let me tell you 'the answer is no'! The politicians were so smart here – put a huge tax on cigarettes. Guess what – the smokers are smarter – they go to the collar-counties or Indiana. So, now the politicians are getting smarter... now they want to raise the cigarette tax. Why? Because the revenue for the taxes were not 'close' to what they expected to receive. Gee, let's see... why not lower the taxes so the people will stay in the City and/or the County to buy the product? No, that would be too easy for politicians to figure out. Got to go now Jack – need to go to a collar-county to buy groceries and cigarettes!!

    January 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  52. Russ in Johnston, IA

    I have no idea, Jack, but it sure seems like alot of others think so! The millions of smokers buying cigarettes doesn't stimulate the economy? Tobacco growers selling their product doesn't stimulate the economy? Then what actions following quitting would stimulate the economy?

    January 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  53. Mark, OKC, OK

    Maybe all those people drawing disability checks because they have lung cancer will one day be replaced by people who never smoked, who have jobs, pay taxes and spend money.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  54. Mary, Atlanta, GA

    Jack, if Nancy Pelosi says it will then it must, right along with STD's and birth control.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  55. Meg Ulmes

    I don't think that it will stimulate the economy in the long run–unless there is another industry that can take the place of tobacco farming. Although we could save money in a lot of health and longevity areas, the tobacco industry employs a lot of people who would be out of jobs. Sounds like a no-win situation to me.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  56. Mertis

    For the individual who quits, yes. Eliminates the expense of the cigarettes, lowers the cost of their life insurance premiums, can improve their health so possibly fewer doctor's visits and meds. and a host of other things.

    My mom quit at 70 years old and we are convinced she added 10 years or more to her life. She passed away at age 88...

    January 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  57. Jackie in Dallas

    Well, I'm not exactly sure it has a one-on-one relationship, but definitely, reducing the number of smokers will reduce the medical care necessary for smokers, their families, and for those affected by second-hand smoke.

    For one, I could reduce my refills on my asthma inhalers, since about 1/2 to 3/4ths of my attacks are brought on by smoke.

    This is like the condom questions, Jack. These are all things we need to work toward for the long-term benefits to the people, and by doing so, reduce medical costs.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  58. Chryssa

    Directly, every dollar not spent on cigarettes would go elsewhere – housing, shopping, entertainment, health care.

    And according to "Action on Smoking and Health", smoking costs us $167 billion in annual health-related losses. I think we could use an extra $167 billion right now, don't you?

    Boise, ID

    January 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  59. Tina (Fort Worth)

    Right now no. But if all the smokers don't quit they will need the assistance of the nurses at the hospital and then hospice. It is not a pretty thing to see some one suffer from their stupidity. I am 16 year smoke free former smoker and I pray that cancer don't come knocking on my body since I was stupid.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  60. Rose in Az

    I don't see how quitting smoking can stimulate the economy unless the powers that be intent to AGAIN tax tobacco products. I don't quite understand why they don't impose a tax on something that everyone uses, for example, toilet paper.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  61. vern-t anaheim,ca

    i quit smoking 20 years ago after smoking for 31 years and quitting smoking i'm sure has improved my health.to answer you question if people quit smoking it would mean less money spent and therefore hurt the economy and smoking will never be stopped entirely

    January 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  62. karen

    I am from Canada and quitting smoking can help to stimulate the economy. Less spending and saving money on more meaningful stuff will be worth it. Smoking ruin your health and eventually your health will be deteriorated and this will cause a lot of pressure on the health sector to help more sick people. Afterall smoking is not a need it is just a want.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  63. Marabeth Knowles

    Stopping people from smoking stimulates the economy because health care expenses are reduced. It's been proven that the more education a person has the less likely they are to smoke. Smokers are the people that are likely to need subsidised health care because they don't have the income to afford health care.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  64. Ken in Seattle

    No, and neither do some of the other items in the Stimulus Package. This was not the change I voted for, but the same old waste of taxpayer money. Taxpayers have the right to expect that this money will go for creating or saving the greatest number of jobs and providing assistance to those with the greatest need, and the sooner the better. Currently that is not what we are getting. If Democrats cannot show greater financial responsibility they should be voted out. If they don't get their act together I will be happy to lead the charge and I'm sure there will be no shortage of others willing to do the same. Thanks to Hank Paulson, and others in the Bush Administration, we have nothing to show for the 350 billion dollars Paulson handed over to his friends. Taxpayers literally cannot afford to have the government misuse our money like that again, but it appears that may be exactly whats happening.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  65. Gigi

    I don't know but it sure lowered my taxes.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  66. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    Two obvious benefits: less lung cancer means money is freed up from cancer research and keeping those folks well and fewer smoke breaks during the work day means increased productivity for workers.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  67. HD in Phoenix

    Jack, I do not see how this stimulates the economy. However, as a registered respiratory therapist I have personally witnessed many ways in which smokers place huge financial burdens on society in terms of insurance costs and in terms of financial burdens to state sponsored health care systems. All of these expenses are completely avoidable if people simply do not smoke. Everyone's body is different with regard to this subject but, if people smoke regularly, they are guaranteed to develop at the bare minimum, emphysema, heart disease or lung cancer just to name a few. This does not even include the damage and potential hardship they cause to their children, spouses and others through second hand smoke. Once these people are diagnosed with emphysema, they instantly become an expensive burden to the healthcare system which will last the rest of their days on this earth. The cost to manage the remaining days of these compromised human lives is astronomical when you multiply it out over the entire nation of smokers. As a lifelong asthma sufferer who was raised by smokers, I'm all in favor of taxing the hell out of cigarettes or even outlawing tobacco altogether. The moral, human and financial benefits easily outweigh the ridiculous arguments regarding potential job losses of those who work in cigarette factories. They can go out and get a real job.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    January 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  68. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    In about 30 years, all the people who quit smoking will not die of lung cancer and will continue to make purchases for daily living. It is a very long term solution, the country will be dead before this has any effect.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  69. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If people suddenly stopped smoking, it would cost jobs and commerce in the tobacco industry for the short run. But in the long run, it would take a lot of strain off our health care industry and probably reduce the cost of health insurance.......thereby stimulating our economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  70. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    The GOP should handle it like they used to many decades ago, when they were more interested in the country’s welfare than their own myopic personal concerns.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  71. Bill in Michigan

    Heck no, smokers generate millions, if not billions, of dollars in tax revinue on tobacco purchases, not to mention all the jobs they create in the healthcare industry when they are treated for heart disease, cancer, bronchitis, etc. Just imagine the loss of jobs and revinue if we actually had a society of health conscious people.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  72. Chad Jarman--Los Angeles

    Short term, no. We lose out on a lot of tax revenues.

    Long term, yes and no. Healthier people are less wearing on the health care system. But healthier people live longer, which hurts the Social Security fund.

    We like smokers cause they don't live to be 100, and don't tend to bleed our social security system for all its worth.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  73. Bob L from Hawaii

    If we’re borrowing the money to finance the stimulation of the economy why not spend more on improving the U.S. infrastructure (roads, bridges, water supply, electric grids, schools, etc.) so that our children and grandchildren, who will have to pay back the borrowed monies, have the necessary tools to earn a decent living in the future?

    January 29, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  74. earle,florida

    It jumpstarts "Big Tobacco" to get on the Obama gravy train for 2012! Such deep pockets,that haven't been mined,...?

    January 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  75. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    Smoking of any kind is just plain bad for you. If it were not, Jack, you would still be puffing away. Curbing the US's smoking habit will help numerous healthcare issues such as heart disease and cancer, which in turn will make the US more productive and assist in minimizing future health care costs. With that being said a tax on cigarettes is plainly a tax on the poor. Take a look at who is smoking these days. Curbing the US smoking is a good idea-taxing the poor is not.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  76. Harrison - Mobile Alabama

    Nope. Tobacco sales = tax revenue which = money. No smoking = less tax revenue which = not enough money (If that were possible)

    Do the math.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  77. Doug - Dallas, TX

    I doubt it. The states would lose all that tax revenue that would have to made up by raising taxes on other products and all the workers in the tobacco industry would go on unemployment. The only good thing would be a drop in medical costs due to fewer tobacco related diseases.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  78. ellie from utah

    Maybe Jack, people will eat more. So, more trips to the supermarket and maybe the liquor store. I'm trying to be positive!

    January 29, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  79. Eric from Toronto

    Jack, this is a great example of the skewed focus of modern economics. I don't think anyone will argue that quitting smoking is good for a person's health. On the other hand, if a lot of people quit smoking, cigarette sales and tobacco company stock values will go down, unemployment in the sector will go up, and health-care spending will go down long-term. All of these lead to negative economic indicators – higher unemployment, lower Dow and GDP. So for the economy, quitting smoking is bad. My question is, should we be doing what's good for the economy, or what's good for people?

    January 29, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  80. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, the simple answer is that quitting smoking does nothing except make people angrier. Unless you want a bunch of angry trying-to-quit smokers taking torches and pitchforks to Washington to demand movement on a stimulus package and enforce Congressional term limits so these bozos don’t stay in power for multiple decades, then this should be removed and let’s focus on a real plan.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  81. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    Liquor sales would go way up!

    January 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  82. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    It doesn't. Actually, we'd be better off to encourage smoking. The more people smoked the greater number of people would reduce their life expectancy. Then less money would be needed for social security as the population of seniors decreases. As crazy as this sounds, it still makes more sense than suggesting that stopping smoking stimulates the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  83. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    If we could get the Government Regulators, Elected Officials and Wall Street Bankers to stop smoking crack or switch to Tobacco, our economy would rebound before the ice melts on Lake Michigan and we wouldn’t need a stimulus package.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  84. Pete from Atlantic Highlands, NJ

    Cigarettes are expensive! People who stop smoking, especially those with lower incomes, will have more money to spend on other things they need and spread it around, helping the recovery. The cloud around that silver lining is that the government will lose lots of tax revenue and be forced to raise some other tax.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  85. Willow, Iowa

    I quit smoking in 2004 because I was a part time worker at Target and just plain couldn't afford to smoke and eat on the same day. So I had to quit. The best thing about quitting smoking and your budget is you have a whole lot more money at the end of the year. Other than that, it probably won't stimulate the economy much, except damage it in the tobacco states.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  86. Katty OR

    Truth be know, when Congress started messing with the Tobacco Industry they really KILLED the GOLDEN GOOSE and they have been seeking more taxes ever since.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  87. ST

    I think it can go both ways. For smokers to stop, that means they have more money to spend on other things and this could cut down on healthcare expenses. I have relatives who smoke and can't quit, but at the same time can barely afford the cigarettes.

    On the other hand, this could put a lot of people out of work. I live in North Carolina, so this could really effect our way of life here.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  88. John from collinsville, Illinois

    This to me is a gray area where it will help save money on health care but also destroy the tobacco industry so do both by letting people choose to smoke support tobacco industry and people who want to support stop smoking stimulis money to create more jobs also.
    Feed the monster it creates more jobs Jack !

    January 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  89. Ray Kinserlow

    Smoking is probably the number one preventable health issue in the United States. Reducing smoking will reduce health costs. In England, doctors are rewarded when they persuade their patients to take steps like quitting smoking to improve their health. Instead, we are stuck in a vicious cycle of finding expensive prescription drugs to treat the maladies that follow the victims of this addiction. Do the English know something we don't?

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    January 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  90. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Bad effect;lower taxes;where will the states like NY make up the lost money they get from cig.taxes; a tax on not smoking ?

    January 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  91. Kathy/ GA

    As a registered nurse, it keeps everyone from the doctors to the janitors in a hospital employed. It keeps the people in the insurance industry employed as each health plan usually has a plan for smoking cessation. It keeps the empoyees in the casinos with jobs because it seems that people have a hard time playing when they don't smoke. Now if that is not enough, if the person had life insurance when they die, the beneficiary can blow the money on things they could not buy when the smoker was living.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  92. Marie Ontario

    Being a smoker it wouldn't help much if I quit as we only smoke outside and in the winter that cut down consumption by over 2 packages a day for two of us. Anyway we buy from the Indian reserve with no tax where as people who buy from a store pay about 10 dollars a pack we only 10 a carton.

    In our case it wouldn't help the economy except perhaps collectively if enough people quit it would take a huge burden off the medical expenses and likely reduce government spending in this area by billions of dollars a year.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  93. Kay in WV

    It doesn't. But so many of the projects in this 'stimulus' package have nothing to do with stimulating the economy that none of them are surprising anymore.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  94. Sandy

    I hear that when you quit smoking you eat more...I guess that would make revenue from cigarettes and revenue from food offset – and the cost of health care for smokers and for obesity equal out, too! Smokers won';t quit unless they want to no matter how much money you throw out there!


    January 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  95. Dayo

    No, How can anybody say quitting stimulate economy? How about all the cigarette sold all over the universe? and what about the tobacco farmers?how about people that works at the tobacco company? Let me tell you something that might stimulate the economy,keeping people like Clark Howard's mouth shut will stimulate the economy.there are too many information being given on how to do this and that. how to buy a car for little or nothing. But, what we are forgetting is there are people that sells car for a livelihood. they have to sell them at profit to stimulate the economy. Also, there is the internet, don't get me wrong internet is a good invention. but, why do you have to go on the internet to get a cheaper price. With internet comes too much information. So, this is a different world.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  96. Axl in Iowa

    Stop smoking, stop having babies. This is how we are to fix the economy, huh??? What next? EAT CAKE.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  97. candace witte

    Duh jack, of course it will as a former 4pack a day smoker i am haelthier, go to the Doctor less my insurance is cheaper miss work less as an addictied person I thought I could make decisions for myself but no my addiction made those decisions for me so yes around the horn it a boon to the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  98. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Right? Congress blows more "smoke" than all of the "smokers" in America--it is irrevalant--is it ass-a-nine-and it is speculative. If smokers were to quit smoking---the tobacco companies will be announcing layoffs---how about the obese individuals--–should they stop eating? And if they do--the food industry would be laying off--an oxymoron question...and please tell me it wasn't you who came up with this question?

    January 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  99. Chuck

    Jack: Here in the state of Ohio a person smoking two packs a day would save $3142.65 a year. This would take taxe's away from the state, but would save on health care too. So what if the states would have to turn to taxes on beer and just breathing air?

    January 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  100. Marty, Plains

    No Jack. I run a funeral home.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  101. paul

    Jack look at what it has done for you!!! You even look better.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  102. circy in New Mexico

    What economy? I thought it had already tanked.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  103. Sam Fairview, Texas

    Yes it does. Smoking has no medical benefit known to man. In fact smoking is not only expensive but it can lead to severe health risks costing huge amounts of money in medical costs, loss of work, and even death. By quitting smoking you are decreasing your risk of cancer and other harmful efects which in a paid healthcare system like the one Obama promises reduces the cost of healthcare to everyone across the board. Quitting smoking is the smart choice and is a win win situation for everyone.Just the cost of cigarettes alone for a pack a day smoker is about $100.00 per month.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  104. N.S , Huntsville Al

    JACK I'm a big mouth with alot too say, however this question has me speechless. I have no clue or answer to give you.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  105. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If you're looking for a job non-smokers are more likely to be hired by an employer than smokers and are considered to be more productive.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  106. Vinnie Vino


    It dose help by forcing them to buy more things to do with their hands, like food. Instead of hand to mouth smoking it will be hand to mouth eating. Which will lead to even more obese poeple in America...

    Central Islip, N.Y.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  107. Natalie Ohio

    Who-o-a! Wait a minute...not so fast you naysayers. The math is not so simple as some respondents have commented...This is not a "small potato" scale folks it is huge and suggests Fewer smokers=fewer dollars spent on caring for the numbskullers=more money that can be spent somewhere else like education and creating more jobs in other industries.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  108. lynn

    Won't the program hire workers especially women as well as reduce health care costs. Time to think outside the box, Jack. Most nof the cherry picked components of the bill actually are forward looking as well as providing employment for a wide ranging number of people.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  109. Melanie in rural IA

    So if you quit buying cigarettes and and you spend the money on food as most viewers are suggesting isn't that just taking money from peter and giving it to paul? How is that stimulating the economy? My answer would be no and I'm not a smoker.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  110. Lesley L.

    This is intended to put healthcare professionals back to work helping American's overcome their addiction to bacco. People quit, their health improves. What is the problem here?? People get over it.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  111. Bill in South Jersey

    Jack, the name of the game with stimulating the economy is to put money into the hands of people who will spend it inside the USA. Therefore, any money that goes to the current crop of robber barons is wasted because it will go overseas. Think, for example, of the 50-million-dollar French corporate jet that Citi was going to buy.

    On the other hand, I can't think of anything that will stimulate our economy more than paying for American therapists, writers, and moviemakers to come up with a slick package to encourage people to quit smoking - while at the same time subsidizing our tobacco farmers to keep raising their poisonous crop. How American can you get?

    January 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  112. Lynne in North Augusta, South Carolina

    It stimulates the economy as well as handing billions to the banks with no oversight and no accountability did.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  113. Tom in Dubuque Iowa

    Jack, this offers nothing to stimulate the economy NOW! Yes, in the long run it will help reduce healhcare cost. The object of the stimulus package it to jump start the economy.

    Our boy Harkin is just another example of pork barrel spending at it's worse.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  114. Scott, Wichita

    People will be around longer to spend money on common goods... like cigarettes...

    January 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  115. Ed

    Hi Jack I read Limbauchs article on the presidents stimulus plan and I was wondering why anybody listens to this guy. If I'm not mistaken isn't he the same guy that was in a drug rehab a while back and now he's an authority on the economy, know wonder we're in trouble. I wish someone at CNN would do a story on the racial disparity in the medical field, and how blacks and other minorities are kept out of medical school, and certain positions in the medical field. My wife graduated at the top of her class and is still having doors closed on her in certain levels of the medical hierarchy. Thanks Jack and love your show.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  116. George

    It will not!!!! The U.S. Makes billions taxing us smokers, But it's O.K. This is how I pay my fair share to anyone who can use it. Question is> How much tax do I pay per pack?
    Maybe we do need a flat sales tax.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  117. Terry in Hanover County

    This seems bassackwards. If smoking were encouraged, in spite of the health risks, more cigarettes would be sold, more workers employed to make the cigarettes, and more sin taxes paid. That would stimulate the economy. The argument that healthcare costs would decrease if everyone stopped smoking isn't realistic because the CEOs running our healthcare industry are a greedy bunch who want no changes to their control of the industry.

    Drunk drivers kill and yet where's the stimulus to get people to stop drinking?

    I just don't get this one, but for the record, I've never smoked and have life-long asthma. Being around cigarette smoke induces an attack but so do burning leaves, smoke from a fireplace, and diesel exhaust. Picking on smokers seems like a cheap shot to me and not a solution to our economic mess. Let's start with something really constructive to help Americans: TERM LIMITS.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  118. Nick - Cary, North Carolina

    Of course this is not a stimulus, just ask the gravediggers union. According to the CDC smoking accounts for 438,000 American deaths per year. How much are the treatments for these folks and other people who have not died yet costing? To spend money the government needs money. The government can borrow more from foreign countries or equivalently find a way to cut costs. Smoking cecessation will do that big time. Maybe the government could even raise more money without borrowing it as well as limiting this huge "death expenditure." Why can't the government, for example, sell advertising on stamps and legalize and tax other "sins" such as prostitution. I may not like the "sins" but I sure like financial collapse a lot less.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  119. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Nope........ just saves your life!

    January 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  120. Dennis North Carolina

    No and it is another corrupt way of giving money to special interest but it will not grow the economy nor save money in health care.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  121. D. Texas

    NO I don't think so

    January 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  122. Sheryll

    Unfortunately people will find other things to smoke...anything to take them away from the reality of their dismal situation.

    Toronto, Canada

    January 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  123. Charlie Ebert

    I've quite many times over the last 30 years now.
    I still don't feel stimulated...

    January 29, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  124. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    No. Getting people to quit making stupid decisions will stimulate the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  125. Paula (Indiana)

    In theory, I am sure the money for a program to help people quit smoking is a good one, but it doesn't belong in an economic stimulus package. Besides, enough of our hard earned dollars have been handed out to well meaning bureaucrats. I wonder what the track record is for those mega-buck federal programs. How much will make it to the people who want to quit smoking? My guess is that most of it will line the pockets of many. I think this administration should be focusing on stabalizing the economy. Let's work on first things first. Face the economic disaster, get that under control because if the economy tanks the congressman won't have to worry about a bill to help people quit smoking because no one will have money to buy cigarettes.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  126. Priscilla - Baltimore

    What? All those who have lost their jobs because of the economy as it is who are smokers, would love to not stop smoking and the government should not try to stop them. They will definitely become stimulated by frustration, anger, deep depression,and more to the point where they turn back to smioking or start killing because they will not be able to purchase the high price cancer stick. This approach does not stimulate the economy, it only infuriate the smokers with no jobs and who can't pay for ther only sense of pleasure in their dire time.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  127. Jay in Texas

    Your question seems to accept the premise that government-sponsored propagandist campaigns against smoking really work. I don't believe they do. I think the $75 million would be more wisely spent if it were used to pay for treatment for alcoholics and addicts who want to stop drinking or stop using illegal drugs. Most of the alcoholics and addicts do not have health insurance because they cannot afford it. Teaching these millions of Americans how to live sober and, therefore, be able to re-enter the workforce and live productive lives will stimulate the economy.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 29, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  128. Rolman SC

    It's an absurd waste of our money. One simple, cost effective way to curb smoking. Ban the manufacture and sale of tobacco products. And before the hue and cry about lost jobs, know that the manufacturing processes are fully automated. Not a lot of working class people, but Executives and Shareholders will take a hit. Given the costs in dollars and drain on the health care system, industry losses would be offset. And the 80% of the population who don't smoke would benefit.

    Smoke free for two years.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  129. Michael, Liverpool, NY

    It doesn't. At best it will give people money to spend on something else that is hopefully more healthy but the money lost to the states from their taxes on cigarettes will hurt the economy. On the plus side, it should reduce costs to healthcare agencies so that might help reduce the need for states to cut good elements of Medicaid spending becaus ethey save on cigarette related illnesses.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  130. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    It doesn't!!! I know people with asthma and emphysema that have to use a huffy puffy to make them breathe and two minutes later are lighting up again. They are quite aware of what smoking is doing to their health. You can bring a horse to water, but they may not drink. This is another waste of our money and could be put to better use. I thought that pork was not going to be put into legislature anymore. I thought the American people voted for change. The face in the White House may have changed, but it is still more of the same.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  131. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    This is absurd. These stooges are talking about long term solutions to saving money, not jump starting the economy. We need something that will spark a flame that will blossom into a stable economy, not something that will have an effect in fifteen or twenty years. Sure, it's good that people won't get sick, but how does that get this dead economy back to life?

    January 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  132. Carol Simonis

    Hello, No matter what illness a person gets it's blamed on smoking or drinking, so it's no wonder they can come up with those healthcare costs. It's just ridiculous the money spent on non-smoking campaigns, it's gone too far. Stop! Stop! Stop! Why does this country go over board on everything, you mean a few people can do this? It's like Christmas decorations, OVERBOARD!!!!!!!!!!!. Let's see some sanity in this country!!!!!!!!!!!
    Carol from Wisconsin

    January 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  133. Richard Green

    On the surface it may seem hard to see how the money spent on "services"[stop smoking, stop teen STD, etc.] can stimulate the economy. The stimulus comes in the form of the additional people who are hired to provided these services. [ They don't happen by themselves or via volunteers.] Plus, these ways are still better than billions into the pockets of millionaires or more tax cuts for corporations and the rich – studies have shown that those are the least effective ways to stimulate an economy.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal

    January 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  134. Katy, IL

    NO, Jack. It is Dem's scam. I think Obama will do better than that. He gave in to Repb for tax cut; for 8 years, the result of tax cut => my 401K & saving almost gone and I have to work until I can't work any more => death.

    Obama disappointed me.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  135. Melissa from New Orleans

    Not for the tobacco companies but its something that should have been done a long time ago.

    It may have escaped your notice but the common people don't always know whats best for them. Sometimes, the gvt has to take them by the hand whether the common person wants them to or not.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  136. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    Ah ha! I knew it. It wasn't those lying, thieving CEOs, hedge fund schemers and a totally corrupt administration that brought our economy to its knees after all.............It was the smokers! Yeah, it's all their fault, and if they would just quit, then all our jobs would come back and the stock market would hit an all-time high again.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  137. Shmulik Epstein, Columbus, OH

    Jack, in a roundabout long-term way, I guess that eliminating the tobacco industry will help the economy. However, the stimulous package should include only provisions that would help the economy now. The solutions to this crisis must be immediate That means projects that will put people to work now and tomorrow. Lets worry about the health benefits of quitting smoking for another time.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  138. Mike S., New Orleans

    It seems like it would be more profitable to get people to smoke more cigarettes. That way they'd never get to collect their social security.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  139. oti bacchus

    The only way to stop a bad Habit is to encourage it said an Ex-junkin

    January 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  140. Pugas-AZ

    I can't see that it will. Maybe we should go back to the smoke filled boardrooms, meeting halls, etc. where honest discourse took place and things got done. Now days many of us sit around over stuffed from lunch at our computers wasting time on the internet and planning our next fastfood meal or scheming how to make a fast buck in mostly non value-added activity. If you think we have problems now, wait until 50 million babyboomers living to be 100 drain the health care system. Employment will be high then- every third person will be working in health care.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  141. Anna

    Jack did 700 billion dollars created any jobs? I did not hear Republicans complain about that.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  142. Risa

    Here's the deal; Obama is not only thinking about the immediate issues, he is thinking long term. It's about someone in government began thinking about the long term future of this country rather than immediate gratification. Eliminating smoking and even contraception for those who can't afford it, all helps the future of this country. Everyone wants a quick fix. While many are in pain now, unless we make some long term commitments to change, we will be in the same place in 30 years as we are now! e.g., didn't we have an energy crisis in the 70s? If we had addressed seeking US based energy sources then, we wouldn't be in this mess now. I applaud those willing to consider our future as well as our present conditions.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  143. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    I suspect that there is a friend or relative of the sponsors of this pork in the 'Public Message' billboard business, who will receive a chunk of the cash, part of which, will be returned in the form of a campaign donation. Business as usual in Washington, right?

    January 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  144. Yvette, Overland Park, KS

    No! Here we are with pet projects again. If you want people to quit smoking put it in a different bill. This bill is supposed to stimulate the economy by creating jobs not prevent illnesses. Wake up Washington this stuff can wait another day.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  145. Maria

    I don't know if quiting will stimulate the economy, but lung cancer will sure suffer from it

    January 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  146. Frank from Peterborough

    Collectively both the money going to family planning as well as for the anti smoking campaign would likely be two of the most beneficial long term. Unfortunately most people aren't programmed for the long term so getting their support is likely a waste of time.

    In any event both these initiatives would be legitimate and far more sensible than reducing taxes on the rich and businesses. To think a small business will employ more people because they pay less taxes is assinate. The only way a small business will increase employment is if they sell more product or service and the only way they will accomplish the latter is if people have jobs to consume them.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  147. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    You're right , Jack. Regardless of how much money you throw at it, people will continue to smoke as long as they want to. How about that money being spent to help those who want to quit. How about spending some of that cash to help the two thirds of Americans that want to quit over-eating? Obesity costs our country a whole lot more than smoking. That's what our money should be invested in–helping to stop behaviors before they cause irreversible harm. Let's brainstorm how we can do that so we don't throw our money into the ash tray.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  148. Dee in Florida

    Jack, it will not DIRECTLY stimulate the economy IN THE SHORT TERM. However, if people all quit smoking I think the number of people who got smoking related health issues would decrease. Lost days at work due to smoking related illnesses would decrease. The cost of health care could not help but decrease.

    In fact, I'd really like to see MORE of the stimulus money be spent on the health of the people! How about giving EVERYONE a gym membership. (and making participation MANDATORY) That would help us get our obesity epidemic under control, decrease the rate of diabetes, and especially in young people, decrease other illnesses tied to obesity and reduce the number of sick days that people take due to related illnesses.

    EVERY penny that is spent on getting us healthier is a penny that will, in the long run, help the economy.

    I'd say that preventive care will pay back much more than some of the hairbrained projects our "Leaders" can ever come up with!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  149. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Jack, it's simple; if you quit buying cigarettes you have more cash in your pocket to spend that helps stimulate the economy when you do spend the money. Asfor myself I have learned during the past year (since I quit ) I can then easily afford the apple a day I'm suppose to eat to keep me more healthy, live longer, and thus receive more social security benefits. In truth I quit the smoking for two reasons. One I wanted to maintain my health in better shape. Two after the state I live in raised the state sales tax on cigarettes I decided it was a waste to donate that much money to the politicans retirement fund. I plan to spend all my new wealth as my personal small part in trying to help stimulate the economy. So far, this stop smoking deal has done well for me personally and I guess I'm one of those fanatics that drive smokers nuts because I think I've finally seen the light. I think this is a good part of the stimulus and hope it works for those that are still hanging in there with the tobacco – good luck; you can succeed as well if you are one.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  150. nora CC TXAS

    Are they going to dedicate 75 million to all the other diseases that are not caused by smoking? A great percentage of people are sick and they have never smoked a day in their life, what do they say about that? People are more tormented by stress right now, afraid of losing their jobs, losing 401K's, feeding their kids, lets just get this economy back on track, get people back to work, etc. People who smoke are not going to stop because they see an Ad or get a pamplet, stop the silliness!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  151. Floyd

    Don't those idiots we elected in Washington understand the situation with our debt and the economy? The US economy is in the bottom of a septic tank and these idiots continue to propose legislation that will only drain away more money from the economy, or should I say from China, which is where we will be borrowing this from.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  152. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    As much as I back President Obama's plans, I think this stimulus bill should NOT include that kind of stuff typically promoted by Congress... Save it for the health care bill later.

    This package should focus on putting people to work and educate those in school for future jobs. Provide states with the means to fund EXISTING services for those who have lost their jobs. Give states the money to pay for rebuilding infrastructure (real stuff, like water systems, roads and bridges). Let's build those wind turbines and solar farms and create a modern energy grid to provide clean and cheap power nationwide. Those are REAL jobs and result in tangible return on investment.

    Tax cuts mean nothing if you don't have a job to create the need to pay taxes.

    It's the economy, stupid.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  153. arlene in iowa

    I believe that quitting smoking will help the healthcare system in the long run. I have been tobacco free for 18 months now and feel so much better. the money not spent on smokes will still be spent on something else..hey ..i gained 15 lbs. when i quit. thats stimulating the economy, right..?

    January 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  154. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    I bet the tobacco company wouldn't think so.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  155. j/NJ

    How does getting people to stop smoking stimulate the economy?

    Jack; seems you got a lot of mail on this one...for what its worth if tax payer money is being used to promote and/or fund anti smoking campaigns, the very least the people can do is lobby for a definitive say in the matter simple as that...after all it is our hard earned money which no govt, politician or group of politicians should control in any circumstance without the people's consent...

    January 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  156. JW in Atlanta

    Depends on whether you're an undertaker or a retirement community worker. Depends on whose 'economy' you want to stimulate.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  157. L.M.,Arizona

    It a proven fact that smokers have more health problems then non-smoker so when you talk about universal health care we all need do our part to maintain the best health possible. We need to cut the burgers and exercise more this is a sacrifice I think people might be willing to do.


    January 29, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  158. Geri

    I don't know how quitting smoking can stimulate the economy at large but I do know that since I quit smoking a year ago and my husband stopped smoking two months ago our savings account balance in these economically tough times looks better than it ever has. Plus we both stopped smoking cold turkey after approximately 47 years, so we didn't buy any patches, gum, or drugs to help us quit. No stimulous to the econmy there either. But the poor cigarette companies are sure losing a lot of money.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    January 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  159. Karl from SF, CA

    If all the money wasted on “Stop Smoking” campaigns had been put into cancer research, we might have a cure for most types of cancer, or be a lot closer to that point. No one has ever seen a quit smoking ad and stopped then and there. Being a former smoker, it’s a process you have to go through to be successful and ads do very little.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  160. Terry- Greensburg, IN

    $75-million to get people to quit smoking.

    Jack, I'd like to know how much the government forced tobacco companies to spend on this same issue.
    I wonder what the tobacco companies charge off in loses for that little piece of paper you fine under the celophane wrapper, I think it says stop smoking I've never read one.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  161. Andre Smith

    Wait a minute!! 75 million to get people to stop smoking to cut healthcare costs, but yet it was too much to spend 200 million to get people who can't afford to have children to stop having children and draining the system of more resources like WIC, foodstamps, education, etc?? Doesn't make any sense in Washington as usual. The bill should have stayed intact. All thes programs weren't and could not have been immediate impact, so he put in a couple of long term plans to help cut future operating costs. What's wrong with that? For everyone criticizing Barack's plan...I DON'T HEAR ANYONE ELSES BRIGHT IDEAS YET? What they are top secret for Palin in 2012?

    January 29, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  162. Barbara - NC

    Wait a minute - I heard they were going to put another sixty cent per pack tax on cigarettes to cover health care. If people quit smoking, what will they tax? "THEY" would serve themselves and us better if they quit talking in circles.

    I certainly hope they start taxing fat people for the extra weight that causes buses, trucks, planes, cars, etc. to use more fuel. ha ha ha ha ha

    January 29, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  163. Kevin

    Ive been smoking a pack a day for two years. Even while I haven't been diagnosed with any smoking related disease, quitting smoking could me save about $1800 a year. I am unsure of how the American health care system could benefit from the quitting of smokers nationwide, but I can say that quitting would leave the smokers with more money in their pockets, and could stimulate the economy that way. However, I think $75 million could be better spent by helping to fund companies like finalsmoke and quitassist, making quitting both easier and more affordable for regretful smokers.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  164. douglas gengler

    I am like every other smoker, i quit and gained 40 pounds. what is worse smoking or obesity?????
    doug in arkansas

    January 29, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  165. Tim in Texas

    Pay now or pay more later. That's basically what it comes down to. When one mom or dad gets lung cancer, we all pay some portion of the health care costs one way or another. Health insurance becomes more expensive or medicare payments are made - no matter what we all pay for it. Mom or dad dies, we all pay for the kids one way or another. Whether it's Pell Grants for the kids to attend college, or less money from the family for taxes - we all pay. And also, lets not forget, mom or dad dies.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  166. Glen in Laurel, Maryland

    My parents died from lung cancer at 60 and 63, respectively, and lecturing their tombstones on personal responsibility won't bring them back. I'm all for any effort that might save a few foolish teenagers from themselves and from the nicotine pushers, whose responsibility doesn't end just because a teen's responsibility begins. They can overlap, you know.
    But regardless of the merits, anything that purchases goods and services along the way is stimulus. The porkiest pork is stimulus.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  167. john ... marlton,nj

    It won't , it is just another ineffective flaming liberal program based on the long live belief that only liberals know how to live and run our lives...

    If the parents of smokers had abortions way back when, we wouldn't have this smoking problems...

    January 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  168. pat ruddy

    I'am sick of the government allowing the pork being stuck to a bill.If Obama wants a change lets start with clearing the deck and put a clean bill thru our government. Let the smokers -smoke.We could buy several big earth movers with that money.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  169. Mike from Rochester, NY

    Perversely, the opposite is true. Less money spent on smoking means less tax revenue for the state and less profit for retailers. I agree that it means healthier Americans long-term, which means less of a burden on the health care system, but this will not stimulate the economy short-term.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  170. Robert Thomson

    If you consider that a two pack a day addict would spend about $3650 per year on his addiction then that money could become free to purchase other items that would stimulate the economy. Now if you consider that that smoker will increase his life expectancy several months or years he will become able to draw social security and pension benefits for a longer period of time and continue to stimulate the economy provided the pension systems don't collapse. The nicotine addict would also enjoy better health, fewer medical bills and more money to spend in places other than on doctor bills.

    Bob Thomson – Southfield, MI

    January 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  171. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    For the food and weight loss industries it does, but the loss of taxes counteracts that. I quit smoking last August, and the economy tanked immediatly after that!

    January 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  172. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, it may not right away but working the healthcare I can tell you that it will reduce the healtcare costs involved, and there are many people on Medicaid who smoke and are at risk or currently fighting smoke related disease, which costs all taxpayers.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  173. George, Dunedin, Florida

    I don't understand how the act of quitting smoking could have any effect on our economy, however everyone quitting smoking long term would cut down on our way too many cases of lung cancer, and other respiratory disorders that have to be treated, and in way too many cases paid for out of our government funds, and that puts an added strain on the taxpayer. Not to be overlooked it would mean way less amounts of TOBACCO would be of use which would take the strain of subsidizing tobacco growers that would give our Federal Budget some relief. Well it looks as if I have talked myself into believing, That it is TRUE ! Quitting smoking not only would cut back on greenhouse refuge, give us a healthier population, it would have a positive affect our economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  174. donna raedler

    Jack, I'm 66 and smoked for 45yrs. I finally quit 1yr.3months ago. I really didn't want to but I did it at the insistance of my family. I used a perscription method and it actually worked. If we don,t have the common sense and self disciplin to stop, all the tests the government wastes money on won't mean squat.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  175. Sarah Matthews

    No Jack it will not, quite the opposite, If every one quits smoking where are they going to get the money from, to do what they want to do with it. I quess they will have to raise the taxes on all the rest of you, thoes of us that smoke and quite will have plenty of money to pay thoes extra taxes, hope you all will .

    Dade City, Fl.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  176. Bev

    Yes it will. Smoking is addictive and not only does it become a drain on the healthcare for the smokers themselves but also for those they smoke around, espeically their kids. Addicts need help to quit. Minimizing smoking in society will also reduce the likelihood of smoking being passed on to the younger generation who would be in a more healhier condition to gain a decent education. The more educated the younger generation, the more productive they become to further grow the economy. There are benefits Jack, both health wise and for the longevity of our future generation

    January 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  177. Lynn, San Diego

    It would probably stimulate my local economy, I shop a lot on line because just inhaling second hand smoke from a car parked nearby in a shopping mall causes me to have an asthma attack and I can't travel to visit family in States where smoking is a way of life. Personally I'd like to see a $10 Fed tax on every pack sold to go directly to Health Services and taxes on cigarette manufactures can not be high enough.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  178. Jim

    They will spend more on food, eat a lot more, get fat, and require more health care.... Yep, it will really help!!!!!! What goes around comes around...

    January 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  179. Judy from Canada

    Jack Years ago when cigarette and alcohol taxes were raised in Canada. There was a running joke . About a woman telling her Mom She met a rich guy He smokes and drinks. How is it that some people that can least affod it smoke and drik If they quit either or they would have extra money to spend elsewhere. Seems obvious that would help stimulate the economy. Then again the tobacco producers may be asking for a bail out too.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  180. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    When I quit smoking 25 years ago I put the amount I would have spent on cigarettes in an envelope. In a years time I paid for a trip to Europe for 3 weeks. Okay, so it wasn't our economy I stimulated that time but I still put money in the envelope for traveling.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  181. Lee in Tennessee

    It might save millions in healthcare but it will cost more in social security as people live longer. Besides its a cash cow,generating millions in taxes for the government. Hell, if anything, encourage smoking, its good for the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  182. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Quitting smoking totally sucks for the economy. Growing tobacco requires seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, expensive farm machinery, irrigation equipment, large curing barns, all which require large corporations to manufacture these items which employs thousands of people. Smoking tobacco causes a multitude of illnesses which require the hospitalization and treatment of millions of people, which necessitates the existence of entire industries of high-tech medical and pharmaceutical companies, specialized medical personel and the entire medical insurance business. What about Medicare and Medicaid? How many people do those programs employ? And what if I were to blow smoke in your face Jack? You'd probably punch me in the nose. And, oh my lord, just think of the number of lawyers that would involve.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  183. Roland

    A better question is what is the connection between STD's, birth control and anti-smoking programs? Which came first, the great sex or the lighting up afterwards?

    St. George, UT

    January 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  184. Ron from SF

    In my case, my counselor had me look to have fun while quitting and at age 48 I got off the couch and started hiking. Because I’d go beyond where I could get water, my wife bought me a pack, to carry drinks, snacks and a snake bite kit.. Since folks didn’t believe I had gone where I said I had, I bought a digital camera and soon found I had a talent for photography too. To store all my pictures, I buy DVD’s and am looking to upgrade my camera to something that will take wide angle shots After going over the same places a few times, my wife and I began taking short vacations, so I can explore new territory While I smoked, I hadn’t taken a vacation in years. All this and it still costs less than the cigarettes. Today, I’m recovering from yesterday’s 20 mile hike, so I hope to see this and also hope it helps someone else Yes, quitting is stimulating and it gave me a new life too. No Jack, the only downsides to quitting is that I don’t get to watch you every day and of course, getting Poison Oak 3 times!

    January 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  185. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    75 million, to get people to quit smoking? Doesn't the government make billions from the outrageous taxes they put on a pack of cigarettes? Shouldn't that stimulate the economy? As long as people smoke, tabacco companies and health care providers will keep their jobs. I'd bet the good senator doesn't smoke cigarettes, but I'm not convinced that Tom Harkin hasn't been smoking something else!

    January 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  186. Diane A.

    No it does not . Canada has gross pictures on every pakage , it's the Law , Some cigs. are 10 bucks a pack , they still buy them . Most people buy the Native Indian Cigs @ 25 dollars a carton with no pictures on them . Cigs. are about 80 dollars a carton , most of the 80 dollars are Gov. taxes , the same with booze . Your Gov. should tax those also . Then you will have have medacare for everyone in the U.S.
    God Bless the Troops . ,

    January 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  187. Christine, Edmeston NY

    Well, it never stimulated MY economy. I quit 22 years ago, and I never felt I had any more money than when I was smoking 2 packs a day. But it did stimulate my lung cells back to health, so how can you argue against that sort of investment?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  188. Jeff Crocket

    Most of the cost of cigarettes is State and Federal Taxation!
    If everyone quits, it will ruin governments cash cow! It will also kill off another industry!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  189. Susan from Greenfield, Wi.

    No. It costs jobs in the south eastern states which also effects tax revenues to those states. If everybody quit right now what would the Feds do about the budget short fall, just more debt on top of debt I guess. And last. Smoking is as old as man, and you can't live forever. The death process started as soon as you were born, get used to it.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm |

    First they quit. Then they gain weight. They feel bad about that so they join a gym, buy three months of Jenny Craig or Trim 4 Life, then they realize how much they are paying for food and workouts, and the stress drives them back to smoking, And the cycle begins again.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  191. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    There are parts of this program that are less than perfect, but I dread thinking about what would happen if the republicans were still in charge. It is shameful that no one in the republican party has come up with anything other than the same garbage that got us here in the first place. These guys have got nothing. Obama's plan is the end product of a lot of hard work and months of planning and meetings with the best and brightest financial people in the country. If they can't do it NO ONE CAN.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  192. jim Handy

    It doesn't. This is just another attempt to control our lives. This is wasted money. The only thing that will help people quit is the genuine desire to do so. Once you make that decision you will quit on your own.

    Inglewood, ca.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  193. Kevin Lunenburg MA.

    I thought the stimulus was about putting people to work. This is insane! So much for changing the way Washington works, we need a responsible adult to take over here and quickly.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  194. Lisa

    I think it would do the opposite. Isn't over half the price of cigarettes tax anyway? As for more testing on cigarettes, I think we know that they are bad for you; why does it matter just how bad? Smoking is a form of slow suicide anyway.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  195. Andrea, New York, NY

    It doesn't. It just switches the financial burden from health care to social security. Smoking related diseases shortens life expectancy. Unfortunately, a longer life is also a drain on the system when the elderly draw on social security for potentially decades longer. When social security was enacted the average American life expectancy was 64 years old. That is no longer the case.

    Of course, making smoking illegal would cost considerably less than is suggested in the stimulus package. Not to mention the money that could be raised from fines.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  196. Jerry- Illinois

    Don't know, I Quit smoking 50 years ago!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  197. Clementine from Fort Bragg, NC

    Jack, Doesn’t it seem like our government has a serious case of ADHD? They simply don’t have the ability to stick to the task at hand. They were given the task to draft a solution to fix our economy and instead they are using this situation to push a social agenda. It’s like they can’t help themselves. There will be a proper time to introduce a bill to provide for whatever pork projects they want, but right now the only thing they should be focusing on is the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  198. Max

    Wouldn't more people buying cigarettes stimulate the economy?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  199. Jay, Niagara Falls, Ont

    It doesn't. If there were any economic advantage to having no smokers in America, cigarettes would have been declared worse than heroin and outlawed a long time ago. Save that money, and have Obama, with the hardest job in the world, quit smoking for good in plain public view. That would be far more inspirational than the same old TV ads. Or give out free copies of your book, Jack...your story helped me quit.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  200. Ami, Pearland, TX

    No and I really wish Congress would go through this package and have only things that will generate jobs and benefit the majority of Americans.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  201. jennifer

    If people don't smoke, they will have money to spend on a daily basis on other things. Health care costs will drop, they will be more productive members of the work force with more energy, keeping and spending more of what they earn.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  202. Anthony

    How does it help stimulate the economy? Fewer sick people, more healthy workers, decrease in healthcare costs. That's how!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  203. Greg

    Hey Jack – Clinton had it right – don't inhale!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  204. John

    It will stimulate the economy because the people smoking will most likely die thus opening more jobs. Its bittersweet for the job seekers like me.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  205. Rebecca

    When people stop smoking, they have more money to spend on other things. Consumer products, homes, cars, health care. Plus, healthier people make for better workers, not to mention the death of "cigarette breaks."

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  206. John Potter

    These stimulus packages bring to mind the late Senator Dirksen who said "A billion here, a billion there, and the first thing you know, you are talking about real money." Seems like we are getting close to "Real Money", and there is no smoke screen.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  207. Greg Maryland

    This is typical Democrats politics who love to jam their little spending into a bill when there is political clout to get a large spending bill through Congress. I hope the Republicans like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe don't cave into the Democrats and allow them to pass this garbage and return us to the late 1970's full of inflation and slow growth.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  208. Dean

    Of course it does because then instead of buying smokes with their hard earned money they will pay more taxes or buy more "important things", but one question for you, how will 75 millions dollars on tv ads saying its bad to smoke help people stop smoking? as if we didnt know that, try taking that money and imply program that actually help individuals and not the tv networks, of thats how it will stimulate the economy, it will give the tv station more money for running ads

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  209. Paul, California

    It seems counter productive really. Stop smoking = reduces death = reduction in the funeral industry. Stop the pork! We were promised pork free stimulus!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  210. Smith

    No it doesn't- giving it to the banks doesn't either.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  211. M. Bouffant

    If nothing else, smoking cessation usually leads to an increase in appetite & food intake. Could be good for restaurants & grocers.

    Apologies if this has been mentioned before.

    M. Bouffant, Los Angeles, CA

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  212. marilyn

    of course not

    neither does $6 billion on broadband projects

    Joe the plumber's gotta smoke just to make i thru all this "pork"

    January 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  213. donna,fl.

    NO...actually smoking stimulates the economy..if everyone quit,there would be no more income from cigarette sales taxes....and convenient stores would be out of business!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  214. john hickey, dallas

    I just don't know, Jack. Seems to me that we should be encouraging smokers to buy more. We need to stimulate the economy by getting people to spend more. Spending more on cigarettes, tobaco and booze seem to be just as valid for economy as increasing sales on any other items.

    Smoke more! Boost our Economy!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  215. Phillip Burroughs

    It Won't

    Bradenton, Fl.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  216. Demetrius

    I think it would be a good idea to show the ingredients of these cigarettes. As a smoker, I would like to be able to choose the cigarrette with the least toxic additional ingredients.

    Can I get an organic cigarette. I like smoking and I don't plan on quitting any time soon.

    what about us?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  217. TJ

    It would possibly give smokers who quit more money to spend on other items which would be a step in the right direction of getting the economy moving and a drop in medical costs would also possibly make it easier and more favorable for companies to expand.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  218. Philip V

    How you get people to stop smoking and stimulate the economy is make tax on a pack of cigarettes 10$ or 15$. Use that tax money for the health costs and the rest to stimulate the economy. I bet there'd be less people smoking in no time.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  219. James

    It simply will not!

    I myself don't smoke cigarettes but know many people that do.

    The fact of the madder is someone must want to quit smoking
    and spending loads of money of something like this is simply

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  220. steve

    Please explain to me how tax cuts for individuals who will spend the money at Wall Mart on Chinees goods will stimulate our economy?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  221. Melissa from Columbus, GA

    I am a Democrat who was for the Stimulus Package; however, the one the Democratic House passed bears little resemblance to the one Obama presented. I am so mad with the House Democrats for putting in these ridiculous pork barrel items and reducing the amount that needs to be spent on infrastructure given the recent D grade it received.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  222. kathy

    It doesn't help the economy. If they want to help the economy they should force insurance companies to pay for medications to help people to quit smoking so that people who truly want to quit will have more money in their pockets at the end of the month. The same is true of weight loss medications.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  223. Monique

    NO! I am so sick of politicians and the lobbiests who pack these bills with pork! Nancy Pelosi needs to come off her high horse and see THE PEOPLE want change – she can be voted out too.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  224. Jeff A. - New York

    Can't Congress just pass a law to ban advertising of cigarettes. That approach costs nothing and will be just as effective...

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  225. Matt

    If they're spending money on smoking cessation, it should be used to subsidize things like nicotine gum, patches and such. If they really wanted people to quit, nicotine alternatives would be dirt cheap. They're too expensive. Most smokers are low income and if there's money to spend, it should be used to help them.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  226. Cristin O

    Well for one we're looking at an increase in productivity. The people in my office (and every other building in DC) take a cigarette/gossip break every 20 or 30minutes! My God. If anyone where away from their desk that much in an eight hour period for any other reason they'd be fired without hesitation. Not to mention health care costs go down when you don't have to insure smokers.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  227. Linda in Arizona

    It might cut down on health care costs as advertised, but it is too circuitous to be in this bill. This bill is supposed to provide jobs and stimulate the economy. Congress had better get a clue, or we're all going down the toilet.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  228. Brian

    I think it will have the oppisite effect.
    The fact is that MANY cities rely a TON on the taxes from smoking, and if everyone quit smoking, where do you think they are going to get that money from? Heres a hint, look in the mirror.
    Look at how much cities like Chicago or New York tax smokes. It's a lot.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  229. Greg

    People that stop smoking will dramatically increase consumption of snacks. The carrot stick industry will be BOOMING!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  230. Robb G Portland, OR

    You can stop the health issue and stimulate the economy by raising the cost of a pack of cigarettes to $10. Not only will people stop buying cigs because of the cost, but they'll also have extra disposable incoming to shop for consumer goods which is what they want to begin with.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  231. Cortez in Rochester

    Ah Jack no Brainer!! Cigarretes should be the number illegal drug in the U.S. They're so powerful, they kill people who don't even smoke. If we want to cut a huge part of the health costs in the U.S., quitting smoking is the way to go!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  232. Kevin c.

    Jack you want to stimulate the economy and get ppl to quit smoking, raise the tax rate on tabaccothose that choose not to quit let them pay, then use that money to fund health programs related to tobacco.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  233. Alex G.

    When people are not spending $6 or more per pack of cigarettes, they will have greater disposable income to spend on retail items, pumping more money into a wider range of products, which will stimulate the economy. I smoked for 26 years, and when I quit I was astounded by the amount of money I was throwing away.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  234. Michael Cash


    I'm all for getting folks to stop smoking. I am a democrat and voted for Obama But this spending is not an economic stimulus. It would e more of a stimulus to impose a national tax on cigarettes of $1.00 a pack. That would get more folks to quit and raise more money.,

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  235. Alex K. in Ann Arbor, MI

    QUitting smoking benefits the economy in a subtle way – the cost of a pack is small on an individual basis, maybe five dollars, but if you look at the number of packs bought in a day across America, or the number of packs bought by a single person in a lifetime, you can see that it really adds up.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  236. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    It doesn't, unless you ban smoking and hire 3 million cig cops.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  237. Jane Favor

    No it does not! It may save some lives but then that means more people trying for the same slices of the pie. Let the morons who choose to smoke kill themselves off so there is a snowball's chance in hell for the rest of us in this economy! Besides, all that money they will be spending on healthcare will "stimulate" jobs in the health industry. (semi-tongue in cheek).

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  238. joey i

    NO NO NO i believe that this will b a waste of money$$$, and besides do we resally think that the tabacoo industry will let us AMERICANS stop smoking and kill the PFOFIT they make off of us??????????

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  239. Denis Duffy

    It doesn't, Jack. The money will be frittered away, just as the money extorted from the tobacco companies was. It will never be used to help smokers stop smoking. Any one who takes this attempt seriously is having smoke blown up their, well you get idea.

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  240. Robert

    It spends money on advertising and machinery. But, we are focusing on the small stuff. Pass the spending bill. Spend more time on fixing the housing/loan issue in the financial sector. We overcooked and over expanded the economy with easy money tied to housing. Now we have lots of bad loans that we need to backstop or the economy will come to a grinding halt!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  241. Fritz Hohenheim

    Wrong question, Jack.
    The real question should be: Why is it that american democracy is as corrupt as in a banana republic? 200 years of resting on the laurels of being the first democracy in the western world has allowed most of europe's nations to surpass america when it comes to democracy, acountability and honesty in the government. They are not perfect, but corruption and lobbying like here is much rarer in countries like germany, france and so on.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  242. Gary

    No it clearly does not. While cigarettes are terrible for you they are a major part of our economy and a source of countless jobs. Wasting all this money on anti-smoking campaigns will accomplish nothing – the effects of smoking are well known. This is nothing more than a waste of taxpayer dollars.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  243. Andrew

    Jack, Finally you are starting to ask the real questions about this "Stimulus Plan". Everyone wants an influx of capital into the system, but this plan does not accomplish that. Everyone wants jobs, but Congress is up to their typical political goals of getting money to groups that got them elected. Why not cut the corporate tax, capital gains tax, real estate taxes, etc? That would encourage business to stop firing people, get people investing and create growth. Some of the provisions in the bill are worthwhile, just don't hide under the cloak of creating jobs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  244. James

    If smoking is such a drain on the economy, make it illegal. It won't even cost a dime of taxpayers money.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  245. Karey

    Getting people to KEEP smoking will stimulate the economy far more! First, the tobacco companies will stay in business and employees/farmers will have a job. Second, businesses that sell cigarettes will continue to gain revenue. Third, doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies will continue to see revenue from the smoking related sicknesses. Early deaths will increase re-marriages; the funeral business will have bigger turnover... In short, getting people to stop smoking may be a noble and helpful endeavor, but it does not stimulate the economy!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  246. Bill Moore

    You know that most people who smoke are lower wage people and not as well-educated. If people successfully quit smoking, they will have extra money to spend to put back into the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  247. Jay

    It is another stupid spending plan to tell people that it will kill them,If they haven't got it by now they never will so give the money to the cancer foundation.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  248. Obama-Mamas.com

    California is currently cutting employee wages 10% by requiring furloughs. States spend money on health care, like stop smoking programs and contraception – health care that comes out of cigarette taxes.

    People do these jobs, especially women. If we don't help states meet their financial needs so they can meet their payrolls, more people lose their jobs, again, especially women.

    Are people really too stupid to figure that out.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  249. Hank

    Quiting smoking does help the economy. Pretty straight foreward actually- less people dying means more workforce.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  250. Jim


    How many millions of dollars will also be discontinued in Federal subsidies to the tobacco growers and producers? Seems only fair that they would be cut to zero in keeping with the spirit of the stimulus package funding millions in preventative measures to do away with smoking.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  251. Jane Lawson

    If every smoker in the State of Washington quit smoking, our economy would be in even worse shape since we pay 60 cents in taxes per pack of cigarettes. As to the argument that smoking causes death, life also causes death. So do we put a tax on life to compensate?

    Jane in Lacey, WA

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  252. Smith

    Give the 800 billion directly to the 303,824,640 people in America.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  253. richard ross from new mexico

    this is just rubbashe the smoking problem is and will stay the same the tabacoo companies were suied years ago and each state got millions and that did not stimulate anything so this money is just a joke and needs to be placed on education or roads

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  254. Amy. Western NY

    Well Jack,
    I am nicotine free now for 15 hours and counting.

    You figure $6.75 for a pack, most smokers smoke a pack a day and that ads up. That money would be better spent monthly on other items and be put into the economy in a better way. I hope to ad mine to along with many others.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  255. Robert

    I just don't understand the whole debate. Why not just make them illegal and be done with it. Then people will have to quit. What other product has ever been permitted to remain on the market that caused so much injury. Of course, then the states would loose all that tax money . . . .

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  256. Billy

    I'm no Economic genius, but it seems like throwing money away if you are trying to prevent people from spending money on goods in a recession. You know what would really stimulate the economy? Legalizing marijuana.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  257. Kurt Haase

    I would say it has the oposite, it would put all the pepole in the cigarette industrie out of work.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  258. Mark Edmondson

    A pack-a-day smoker will save about $5 a day if he or she quits. That's money that can be spent elsewhere. However, this money should go to the pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of the cessation drugs instead of commercials about the bad things that happen to people who smoke. It just seems more effective that way.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  259. R J in TX

    Jack, part of making a profit involves cutting long term costs as well as making revenues. In order for our economy to profit, that is what we need to do and cutting healthcare costs through some preventative maintenance is very prudent.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  260. rnr

    If everyone gives up smoking and life expectency goes much higher, then Social Security will suffer because all of those who would have died from lung cancer etc. will be drawing money from Soc Sec. Help Social Security remain solvent – keep smoking!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  261. Charlie Amaro

    Unpopular, yes. Unhealthy, you bet. But how much money does the U.S. take in each year in cigarette taxes? Doesn't anyone find it ironic that the government spends money to persuade people to stop an action that makes them money? And are they still subsidizing the tobacco industry?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  262. James-Louisville, KY

    It doesn't Jack. I voted for this guy and I truly believe in him, but he's starting to scare me. I have to agree with the Republicans; some of these things just don't belong.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  263. Joseph

    Jack my boy, the only thing it stimulates is your job. You need to start asking more intelligent questions.Don't be a lackey for your mindless producers.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  264. Frank Cape Coral, FL

    The ONLY thing I can thing I can possible image is hat smoking kills therefore less taxpayers, so if you can get smokers to quit, more tax dollars for the government, because congress is due for a big raise I think. I could be wrong.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  265. Sam Irvin

    Makes NO sense at all with regards to stimulating the economy. It's just more "free money" for pet Democratic spending projects, now that they rule the roost. Problem is, it's NOT "free". But just try to tell THEM that. I will drop dead of shock if any ONE of them (dems) come back and say thy made a mistake when these pork spending-projects don't work to stimulate the economy, which is SUPPOSED to be the whole point.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  266. linda scott/conyers, ga

    Jack, it's ludicrous to put that money into the CDC to test cigarettes. I suggest that a .50 tax be added to each pack creating an economic benefit – and the fact that many people would have to quit simply because they can no longer afford to smoke would be more effective at getting smokers to quit smoking. Nothing works better than hitting the pocketbook. These two things would cost nothing, but would only bring in tax revenue. Thanks Jack, you're great and quite sexy too.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  267. Anca

    Jack, I guess it depends on what it is that people are smoking...

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  268. independent4ever los angeles, ca

    No, this will not stimulate the economy. Smoking is an addiction, pure and simple. We treat people with alcohol ande drug addictions, but we just tell people to quit smoking. Nicotine is the most difficult addiction there is: far harder to stop than heroin or cocaine. Instead of treating these people as pariahs, why can't we help them? They already know that tobacco is going to kill them, but it is not as easy to stop as they say it is.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  269. Mark McIntyre

    You don't spend 75 million to stop people from smoking; RAISE the Cigerette taxes by 5-10 dollars a pack; people will quit and the government has more money: Win Win situation!!

    In England cigerettes are almost 15 dollars a pack... and the warnings on the packs there are 90% of the packaging and very graphic....

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  270. W Clark

    That's a bunch of bunk, Jack. Give us, the tax payers a break! I wouldn't have voted for some of these people had I known they were so stupid. And worse yet they think we are the dummies. If that's not PORK I don't know what is! Someone is benefiting from from this and it's not by stimulating the economy!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  271. Lee Zehrer

    I think all those lawmakers in Washington should quit smoking whatever their smoking and stop this welfare for all these fatcats who screwed it up and just give a $1 trillion across the board tax cut.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  272. Duane Cook

    I am a Democrat and an Obama supporter, but I am very disappointed in the amount of non-stimulus pork that has been found in this initiative. I think it is time for President Obama to reign in his own party, especially Nancy Pelosi, and insist that the non-stimulus portions of the legislation be removed. I believe that would do much more to encourage bi-partisanship than inviting leaders to the White House for cocktails.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  273. Kate Albaugh

    If taxes on each cigarette package sold were increased substantially enough to REALLY make an impact on convincing people it just isn't worth it to smoke, hopefully more would quit. Many smokers are not necessarily the richest, therefore in not being able to afford to buy cigarettes, low and behold they would find more money in their pockets. Most I think would think they deserve to reward themselves for quitting smoking by 'treating' themselves to spending in another way, voila!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  274. Gene

    I don't think that will stimulate the economy, but if we all had the same stuff that Congress is smoking, we'd all be happy.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  275. Lisa in New Mexico


    Having people quit smoking would be a detriment to the economy. How many millions do smokers pay in taxes to federal, state and local taxes? That would be gone. Jobs in the tobacco industry would suffer. Medical jobs supporting smoking related diseases would be reduced. Money people save on cigarettes might pay off credit cards, hurting the interest income to banks even more.

    Maybe the government should encourage smoking for tax income, jobs and economic stimulation.

    Las Cruces, New Mexico

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  276. Mike, Wash


    Simple, less smokers means less money that has to go to taking care of side effects of smoking. It's well known that tobacco it one of the leading causes of cancer. Well it bring money in? Maybe, if these people are able to be more productive since they can work more. But it sure will save the fed. government millions

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  277. SY, Oviedo, FL

    Smoking is great for funeral directors! If I choose to smoke, it's my choice; we all know it's risky & help's available. Instead, help homeowners whose risks weren't caused by informed choices.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  278. Alex Evans

    Preventing people from smoking hurts the economy (or at least the federal budget) in the long run because people that would have otherwise died fairly quickly from lung cancer will live longer and drain Medicare that much more. Then again, if they live longer they will have more years to spend money in the economy. Perhaps it's just a toss-up!

    Alex Evans
    Atlanta, Georgia

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  279. Hollis

    If folks decide to stop smoking, they'll often seek help to do it. So the nicorette gum people and nicotine patch people, and perhaps the hypnotists, will need to hire more folks. Voila! Economy stimultated! 🙂

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  280. michael daddario

    Jack, I do not believe this will stimulate the economy at all! If any thing it will hurt the economy. When you think about how many jobs the tobaco industry provides, as well as how many hundreds of millions each state makes on cigarette tax each year. The truth of the matter is that this country depends on the tobaco industry.

    Michael in Cleveland

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  281. Brian

    Jack, if a pack-a-day smoker quits the economy is stimulated in the following ways:

    1. He saves the $7/day he would be spending on cigarettes and can use that money instead to stimulate industries that don't kill our citizens.
    2. It can reduce the healthcare cost of struggling companies by preventing the employees covered under their insurance plans from getting long-term debilitating diseases like emphysema.
    3. It can reduce the overall cost of health insurance by reducing the overall risk of cancer.

    You cannot separate the health of our people from the health of our economy and our society.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  282. Griff

    It stimulated me 18yrs ago... Give a person more vigor... Much more Drive... Maybe it will do the same for others. Could that benefit the Country... Who know's.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  283. Jonathan

    As a health care provider, I will tell you about smoking cessation. Most of the people that smoke cannot afford the costly remedies that will help them quit, some that are quite successful. If you want to get people to stop smoking and help the economy... raise the taxes on cigarettes because intubation, lung removal, a lifetime of coughing and hacking up nasty mucus and being unable to breathe or walk around without an oxygen tank does not seem to work.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  284. Ron

    Plain and simply, it doesn't. The Democrats should be careful not to let past become prologue by pushing pork projects though at best obtuse justification schemes.

    I think if this stimulus plan is to be successful, there should be a metric justification for each program. For example, each program should be measured against how many jobs are created by each program in 6 months, 1 year, 18 months, etc.


    January 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  285. L Ramsey

    It would take a while to kick in, but I know in the area where I live . Medicare and Medicaid are being sapped due to smoking related problems.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  286. Kirsten

    This will not stimulate the economy. Do the no-smoking campaigns they us now work? Not really. If they want to use that money to help people quit smoking then it should go to providing free or low cost Chantix or Welbutrin. I have been a smoker for years and want a prescription to help me but I'm affraid it will increase my health insurance premium. To stimulate the economy people must actually quit which I don't think is going to happen with what has been presented.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  287. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Smoking cessation may be many things but economy stimulator is a big stretch.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  288. Dan

    Of course it does, the more people who live longer, the more they can spend, spend, spend. That is what everyone wants, right? More spenders. Since the beginning of this economic crisis last fall, saving money has become something of a sin–the opposite of what I have learned. Even ther President wants us to sepnd our proposed tax cut.

    We need healthy–or at least, living–consumers who can get out there and buy all unneeded crap that needs to be produced so that comapnies can pay workers to go out and buy unneeded crap, etc. The funerary industry is doing just fine and shows no signs of a lack of demand.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  289. Berry

    I think that the government is looking more long term. If the government is able to reduce the number of smokers in the country, then in the long run health care costs for the country would obviously be reduced. Many of the people that need help from tobacco related problems are on medicare, a government funded program. Tobacco related diseases are easily prevented, and it is nice to see the government actually taking a stand.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  290. Andrea

    As a medical professional, I know the statistics – smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in America and costs a ridiculous amount of money. This stimulus plan was always envisioned to be not just a short term fix, but also a long term plan to get our economy on track. Health care costs in this country are twice other industrialized countries – yet we have worse health outcomes. And while its true that many of us already know what's bad about smoking, many don't know how to quit. Smoking cessation programs would be extremely useful. I am happy to see some of these preventive health care measures, because they speak to a forward thinking, pragmatic government. Spending this money now, will save us a lot of money down the road – plus it'll help people!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  291. Dyanne Earley

    Dear Jack-

    $75 million to try to help people stop smoking does seem excessive .
    People know they should quit, they do or they don't . No amount of
    ads or programs will change that. (I AM a smoker who quit and then
    started again.)

    I think the Democrats should cut some of that kind of fat and then
    go for it. We know the Republicans don't know the first thing about
    saving the economy, why pay attention to their input.? Play a recording
    "Cut taxes for big business, cut taxes for big business," ad nausem!

    Dyanne from Mundelein, IL

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  292. becky in kentucky

    Yes Jack ,by getting people to quit smoking, you allow them them to live longer so the goverment can screw them longer......

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  293. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Quitting smoking does not "stimulate the economy", but spending money, any money, on any thing, even anti-smoking campaigns, does. The bureaucrats will have to pay somebody to create this advertising campaign, and somebody else to propagate it through the various communication media. This is spending that would not occur otherwise, private interests all now contracting rather than expanding, and all industries, advertising included, facing cutbacks. The point of this stimulus package is simple – throw a lot of money around, everywhere, to "prime the economic pump." As long as the money spent is actually spent (not saved, invested, or used to retire debt) inside the US, it does not matter a lot on what it is spent.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  294. Bob

    If nicotine gum was made in the United States by Americans for an American company instead of Denmark it just might work.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  295. Hollis in Idaho Falls

    If folks decide to stop smoking, they’ll often seek help to do it. So the nicorette gum people and nicotine patch people, and perhaps the hypnotists, will need to hire more folks. Voila! Economy stimultated! 🙂

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  296. Carol in California

    It may not stimulate the economy Jack, but it just stimulated a very robust debate between me and my husband.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  297. Guy Balestrieri

    I not only think that quiting smoking will help boost the economy in terms of health care, but also in consumer buying. People that are addicted to cigarettes, as many of my friends are, buy up to a pack a day. At $5-6 a pack this can be a costly habit, roughly $2000 a year. I think those that can kick the habit will take the money they would have spent on cigarettes and purchase other commodities further stimulating the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  298. Nick

    It's a good thing to do, but doesn't stimulate the economy. By getting people to quit smoking, you're eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs on farms, in factories, in convenience stores. Hundreds of millions of tax dollars will also go away. Not only that, but tobacco is one of very few exports that we have left.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  299. Roger - New Philadelphia

    Actually, to stimulate the economy, they should spend the money to encourage people to START smoking. The growers win, big tobacco wins, more sales tax for the states, more hirings for doctors to treat the smokers, etc....(just kidding)

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  300. Rhiannon

    Hi Jack,

    Good question. The provision certainly is in keeping with the administrations policies of social responsibility, however it is missing the point of stimulus, as a decline in smoking would potentially lead to less social activities such as dining and drinking out. Directly leading to less spending and perhaps fewer hours for people working in hospitality industries. This is policy better left for later when that specific issue can met directly.


    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  301. Saul Rivera

    Are you kidding me with this question? I feel like smokeing with this type of economy and the situation some of us are in. Just hearing that $75 million is for this makes me want to smoke. I believe that $75 million should go somewhere else in order to stimulate our economy. The hardship people are going through is a stimulus to start smoking.

    Saul Rivera
    Glendale, New York

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  302. Kiel Copeland

    In addition to the aforementioned cost savings it's health benefits seek to achieve, it will stimulate the economy by, in theory, redirecting consumer spending from an industry serving no benefit to the American people to (at least in part) other industries which are more beneficial to our populace and our long term economic state.

    Personally, I'd love to see tobacco spending go down and, say, automotive sales / leases increase.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  303. Barbara

    By cutting a gazillion dollars from the state healthcare budgets. we all pay for people who smoke – a phenomenal amount. All governmental regulations have been shown to decrease incidence of smoking. More people quit, less youngsters start. Insurance premiums could perhaps decrease. The money saved could go to caring for the uninsured, or to put the unemployed to work...

    Charlotte, NC

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  304. Joe

    In the 70's Dr. Edward Deming said "if you can't measure it you can't manage it" when he was convincing the US to build better quality more efficent cars. Here we are 30 years later looking to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on helping people quit smoking. How are you going to measure this? We have gone off the deep end.

    Joe from Minnesota.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  305. Charlie Smith

    They just don't get it....do they? Please, back to the basics of an Economic Stimulus....and nothing else.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  306. Ken, Dallas

    It does not so it does not make sense to include it. But, the new president is proving that he is no different from any other politicians: he makes promises to do things differently but continues to spend the taxpayers' money as irresponsibly as any of his predecessors. And, it's just his second week, Heaven help us once the "honeymoon" is over.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  307. M. Bouffant

    "Smoking is as old as man, and you can’t live forever."

    True, you can't live forever, but smoking is as old as ... about the sixteenth century, not the 100,000 or so yrs. of humanity.

    Or are you one of these the earth is 6,000 yrs. old & marriage has always been exactly the same in all human civilizations since forever people?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  308. Patrick Jean Baptiste

    It would seem to me that getting people to quit smoking will not stimulate the economy because then people wouldn't be spending and we all know that spending is a away to stimulate the economy. I guess the way that it would stimulate the economy is that you have fewer people that factor into health care costs, but I think the amount people spend on cigarettes is more than what health care cost.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  309. tim

    If a bonus is based on performance and poor perfomance there is. how can any ceo or wall street executive expect that they deserve anything. Especially from the tax payer's dollars. how much is enough. This stimulus package should be for the smoking gun not for the smoker that chooses to light up. I thought we where getting change. not smoke screens.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  310. Natasha

    When people are healthier they perform better on their jobs and miss fewer days. When they perform better on their jobs, products and services are better which stimulates business. Quitting smoking would increase worker productivity.

    Also, cutting smoking decreases healthcare costs. Money that could be pouring more into investments and product markets rather than into the pockets of doctors who are already wealthy. I appreciate doctors and their expertise, but smoking is just another indirect way to keep the rich, well.. rich.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  311. Smith

    $2,633.09 cents each We will give it to the banks on our own.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  312. Demetrius

    I noticed that it is more expensive for candy than it is for a cigar or an individual cigarette.

    That is unfair. I think candy should be cheaper because typically kids buy candy and usually have less money than adults.

    Also tobacco is a bad drug that as a smoker I need it to cost more so I don't blow my lungs out so soon.

    I say TAX TAX TAX tobacco.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  313. Cheryl

    Benjamin Franklin knew the answer to your question........

    "A penny saved is a penny earned." - Benjamin Franklin

    Cheryl in New York

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  314. jan ittenbach

    no, if people quit smoking there goes all that tax money and ex smokers will live longer costing the government more in health care AND social security. Anyway, all those antismoking ads just remind smokers to light up.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  315. Janet M.

    It doesn't-what happened to Pelosi's "there will be no pork" promises. Typical behavior of democrats who have been waiting to get there own back at the republicans and now have gone hog wild in spending and mostly on junk that no one needs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  316. Chris S.

    An ex-smoker has more disposable income. No two ways about it. In NYC (where I live), 1 ack of smokes on avg. is 8.00. At one pack a day that comes to 2,688 dollars a year!!! Most of the 8.00 for a pack of somkes goes towards taxes which does not "jump start" the economy. Give that money back to the ex-smoker and he will buy that TV he has been putting off because he knows that was money otherwise thrown in the trash.

    The added benfits of less tax payer dollars going towards smokers health (or lack there of) is a welcome bonus to everyone.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  317. Mark Shafer

    Won't this be primarily done through advertising? And doesn't this get done through paid advertising in print and on air? And in an industry that seems to be laying people off, doesn't an influx of cash seem like it might save a few jobs? Drop the snarky comments and help people think this through Jack, you're better than this question.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  318. Brad

    Why not put that money into discounted or free prescription vouchers which most insurance wont pay. At least then the drugs companies and pharmacies could get some. No lets put out more ads that don't work. For that matter reading glasses for us older folk who cant read the warnings any longer on te side of the pack! 🙂

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  319. Frank

    Spending all that taxpayer money for more marketing will not make people stop smoking. Nicotine is too addictive a substance. A law forbidding smoking would work better. Are you going to hide away in your house all day just so you can smoke cigarettes, or are you going to go to work every day so you can pay your bills? I think you're going to do the latter and the smoking will cease soon enough.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  320. MR

    It doesn't, I'm sure. I think it only stimulates some people into believing billions will be saved. If anything, a little all-natural tobacco might stimulate the economy and many people working to help it. And I agree with you; more anti-smoking campaigns won't "get" more to quit smoking. Just ask my Mother. Her's haven't worked for 30 years.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  321. Tim

    Cigarettes cost between $4 and $8 per pack depending on where you live. A pack per day smoker could save up to $3000 per year by quitting. The real stimulus is not in a smoker's financial savings, but an overall increase in the productivity of our workforce. If each smoker takes five breaks per day at an average time of seven minutes per break...oh never mind. Do the math.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  322. Richard Boley

    Obama has already lost control of his Stimulus as professional politicians pander to special interests with our last dollar. He sounded goo but now, when we need him to tell Pelosi and Reid to back off and clean up the bill, he says nothing. I fear we are in for a long and dreadful 2009.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  323. Angie

    A stop smoking program will not stimulate the economy, but could actually hurt it. Such a program would have a positive long-term impact on healthcare costs. There are a lot of people that spend $20+ to $40+ per week on cigarettes. Additionally, some states have extra taxes on those cigarette purchases that help fund things like education. (TN is one of these states.) People are not going to go without those cigarettes, so they continue to buy them, putting money into the economy. If they quit smoking, most likely, they will start saving that money. Therefore, there are two negatives: they aren't paying the cigarette tax now, and they're not putting money into the economy. This is nothing but pork in this bill.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  324. Michelle

    I know Jack, how about we make cigarettes illegal! Cigarette companies know they are selling poison. Let's shut them down. Big business is getting away with MURDER!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  325. jumroo

    Look, its simple. Fatten the plan and shed some fat to satisfy the republicans later in the senate create a win/win situation. It is just a
    strategy that is very american. Inflate and then deflate, raise the price and then offer a sale....

    The president has already said there will be changes
    did he not?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  326. brian

    the negative impact on health care cost associated with smoking and STD's needs to be addressed. i dont believe it actually stimulates the economy, but it can reduce future costs and burdens on the states and the health care industry. i am not opposed to having some long term projects in place that will ultimately reduce cost for everyone. LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE PEOPLE!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  327. Gordie Albi

    As a certified drug and alcohol counselor, I have found that nicotine
    is the single largest impediment to the cessation of addiction.
    The brain, stimulated by nicotine, to acquire "hits" within a very
    short time. What do smokers do when they crave another cigarette?
    They beg, borrow, and even hunt for old butts in ash trays to feed
    the feelings of irritation – which is their withdrawal symptom.

    So, yes, it is worth it – at least the efforts by Health and Human
    Services. Cut the measurement aspects.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  328. Marge

    What are these people doing to us? When does it end? What's different about There has to be something we can do. All of you Obama supporters will soon see that we will be getting less and less or our hard-earned money. We'll all be on welfare soon...exactly what Nancy Pelosi and her cronies are working toward. She is succeeding and we are letting it happen. Obama won't do anything other than create bigger and bigger government with all of them pocketing more and more. What a joke this country has become

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  329. Ray Stapleton, Oklahoma City, OK

    Jack, you have to remember that there are some very powerful entities out there that WANT us to be sick, and if the carcinogens in tobacco are not doing the job quickly enough, God knows what they might add in order to get you to your prescriber sooner rather than later. This is not conspiracy theory, this is conspiracy recognition.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  330. Nancy Schuster

    JAck, the answer is no. But the Dems know that. They put some items in the bill to give themselves wiggle room when the Republicans want to remove some items like this, that aren't very stimulus related. When the Dems give in on these points, they can then claim the package shows agreement and accord with both parties!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  331. robert fuller

    I don't know how anyone can afford cigarettes today. I quit when they were $5 a carton. Quitting smoking would give a one pack a day smoker anywhere from $100 to $150 a month to spend on something worthwhile. Maybe a car or a new digital TV. I agree we already know enough about the content of cigarettes.
    Bob, bullhead city, AZ

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  332. Joe Filipowicz, New Iberia LA.

    Most of the tobacco money would be used to pay for television, newspaper and radio ads

    My mother died at the young age 52 of lung cancer. Cigarettes robbed 35 years of her life.

    There are worse ways to spend this circulating money. Like, a bridge to nowhere.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  333. vinny

    the way i see it is if all these people quit smoking the doctors,nurses, and all health care worksers will be out of a job. its a horrible cycle.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  334. Ryan Rhynard

    Yes it does. It will stimulate the economy because people wont be spending millions of dollars on cigs, not to mention they will be healthier. Who cares if people at Phillip Morris lose their jobs? Why should they keep their jobs while they are killling people?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  335. Cindy Kowalski

    The only thing that this will stimulate is the federal and state governments. Every time money is allocated to help people quit smoking whether it be tobacco lawsuit money or what is being proposed now it never goes to help people like me quit smoking.
    I have been smoking since I was 12 years old. When I started smoking there were no warnings on the side of the cigarette pack. I have tried to quit smoking too many times to count with no luck and with no real help from these smoking cesation programs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  336. Kristin

    People quitting smoking will not stimulate the economy. I read every ad on my cigarette packs informing me of what I'm doing to my body and still choose to smoke.
    I smoke about 5 packs a week, spending about $2860 a year on $11 a pack.
    Maybe the White House should be encouraging people to smoke, because if everyone spent $2900 a year, we could spend our way out of the recession, like we're supposed to do.

    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  337. Daddy Oink Oink

    Brilliant idea! We take cigarettes away from these newly evicted nervous wrecks at the same time we require lenders to release funds from their grubby hooves. This would restore the status quo with consumers buying things they both don't need and can't afford.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  338. Jennifer in Winnipeg

    Jack, it doesn't. In fact it might have the opposite affect. People saving money, not to mention health by not smoking is great, but in the long run the taxes the gov't loses from tobacco could very well bite in them tush.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  339. Jonathan

    Philadelphia, PA

    As a health care provider, I will tell you about smoking cessation. Most of the people that smoke cannot afford the costly remedies that will help them quit, some that are quite successful. If you want to get people to stop smoking and help the economy... raise the taxes on cigarettes because intubation, lung removal, a lifetime of coughing and hacking up nasty mucus and being unable to breathe or walk around without an oxygen tank does not seem to work.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  340. Tristan

    After smoking for more than 10 years, quitting recently revealed how many helth problems cigarettes really caused. I now work more, and go to the doctor less. This itself isn't a huge change for the country, but if many more people quit due to this legislation, I believe, the effects will be evident on our health care costs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  341. nick

    the tobacco industry is part of the economy too, is it not? It directly employs thousands of Americans

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  342. Shane SC


    You're thinking about this all wrong. Nicotine is an addictive stimulant. What we need to do is make congress light em up.

    Who knows, maybe just maybe, congress will then do something to stimulate the economy.

    Kind of ironic though, they want to increase anti-smoking programs, but they want childrens healthcare to be based off of taxes from smokers...

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  343. Cleat


    The question should be


    I want SOME!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  344. Danielle from Florida

    I'll quit smoking when added stimulus is put into reducing my work stress, classes funded by the government to help deal with nagging husbands and pint sized terrorist 2 year-olds, and injecting more bailout money towards my debt which is everyone else's fault but mine.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  345. Dave Zaragoza

    It does not stimulate the economy. They need to go item by item and ask themselves "Does this DIRECTLY lead to job growth or cut taxes on people and small business?" If the answer is yes, it stays in the package, if the answer is no, get it out of there!
    And they need to add a tax break for ALL homebuyers during this housing crisis, not just 1st time buyers. I'm paying my mortgage and it's a struggle but I can't get a break because I owned a house before??

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  346. Dan

    Yes it does. Less money spent on treating smoking ailments means more money for healthy endevours.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  347. michael LV,NV

    The answer to your question Jack is No. This has nothing to do with
    restarting the economy.

    Now I ask you this Jack the last stimulus package under Bush was full
    of pork barrel spending & now under Obama the new stimulus package
    is full of pork barrel spending.

    So where is the change ?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  348. Tim

    I find it funny that it is a question if spending money will actually stimulate the economy... Of course it will, but is it the right thing to do and will it help most Americans? I would have to say it would only help people that actually smoke and a few others, but the target is smokers. I have a spending habit, shouldn't they help me with my habit?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  349. Chris Luner

    The simple answer is no. Yet again tho, how does $335 million for STD prevention or $75 million for smoking prevention stimulate the economy? IT DOESNT. This budget is filled with a lot of big government spending on things that we do not need to do right now. These are things that would be nice to have yet will not stimulate the economy which is what we need right now. Obama is supposedly a man of change....this big government spending just looks like more irresponsible government spending using our tax payer dollars if you ask me. Didn't he say " More of the Same" for McCain? Looks like he is just more of the same if you ask me...

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  350. Jeff from Alabama

    Easy Jack,
    The average smoke break last 6 to 8 mins. multiply that times the number of smokers this country has and the math tells it all. 70 trillion mins of productivity a year restored !!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  351. Steve Canada

    It doesn't....simple..as much as I admire your new president, the rest of his party seem to be taking its newfound power status way too seriously..Its almost as if they are trying to make up 8 years of minority status in one bill. Contraception, smoking cessation, etc really have no place in a stimulus bill .

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  352. Hefu Pachete

    Well, while i cant immediately think of it a short term stimulus, In the long term less smokers would result in lower healthcare costs. Seems to me this would eventually be good for any universal healcare plan that was passed but not a stimulus which is what the bill was designed for.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  353. joey i/ Delaware

    i'm a smoker so is my wife we understand the dangers involved, if we want to quit then we will. but this is a waste of money on both equipment for the CDC and the health division, tell the american to stop being a burden on us tax payers and deal with IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  354. Ike

    Just over 20% of Americans smoke, and the number is declining. However, the 72% of Americans are overweight or obese, and the number is rising.

    The leading cause of preventable death in the US isn't lung cancer, it's heart disease, caused primarily from overweight Americans. If you want to lower health care costs, reduce the number of people suffering from: high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease, joint pain, type 2 diabetes, higher risks of cancer, high cholesterol, and stroke... then I say let's spend some money on educating the public about the outrageous number of calories in today's restaurant and supermarket food.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  355. Kathy in Fort Lauderdale

    Hi Jack!
    Paying for more "edu-ma-cation" to quit smoking is ridiculous!
    We're the ones paying heavy-duty taxes for our vices and I understand those taxes are gonna go up. I can't quit anyway, the economy's making me a nervous wreck!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  356. Seth McDermott (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

    Smoking is an expensive habit: It costs smokers unbelievable amounts of money each year, and businesses lose productivity because of all the somke breaks employees take. It also takes time and money to clean up all of the crushed butts from sidewalks. Cigarette filters are harmful to the environment, because they take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills. Anti-smoking funds will ultimately help America, however I wonder whether so much funding is necessary at this point in time, instead of beginning a program now, and expanding it later.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  357. Max Parthas

    How does smoking help stimulate the economy? that's easy and pure genius.
    I'm a smoker. I spend 35-50 dollars a week on smoking. 200-250 a month. if i quite today I immediately have 2-250 dollars a month in disposable income. 3,000 a year. More than any stimulus check we've ever received. If 1 million people stop smoking simply add up the numbers.
    That's just the short term. Imagine the long term effects on the health care industry and the amount of money saved in insurance. The lives saved...
    pure genius.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  358. Ethel Wilson

    Quitting smoking will enhance a person health,less medical visit to the emergency room,less doctor visit and in term an overall healthy person saves money in our strape economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  359. Susan Renehan

    It may make no difference to the economy whether we educate people to stop smoking but the long term effects will make it worth it as we try to insure people universally in this country.
    Once again however Republicans are waving the 'Tax Break' flag. Does anyone notice that the tax breaks for the rich are still in place? When are these people going to get it that we who work and now have no work need a lot more help than the rich in getting any kind of breaks. I doubt however these are the people who the Republicans want the breaks for. Tax breaks for the unemployed mean nothing.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  360. janice Delozier

    It would make sense if the plan would give away cigarette cesstation products free...My kids can't afford the products that it takes to quit smoking...I quit cold turkey 29 years ago..but today that does not seem to be happening...why didn't all the money that happened in the big lawsuits pay for this??? None of it makes sense...No one is really serious about this especially the government......

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  361. John

    Yes, if you smoke one pack a day @$4 per pack which amounts to 120 bucks a month, (smoker's do not take days off!) and that money is used rather to purchase durable goods and/or other services not otherwise purchased then 1440 per year is put into the economy notwithstanding the better health the now non-smoker enjoys not seeing the doc or suffereing premature death and loss of hours at work due to being sick. Bottom line: Healthy workers with more money in their pockets are more productive and increase GDP!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  362. Annemarie

    Jack, I am in support of our President, however, it took no ads to stop me from smoking 2 packs a day . I quit 16 years ago, after I saw my mother have 6 of her arteries bypassed. My fifth grade class helped me to quit, and in turn were educated as to the dangers of smoking! spend the money on new books for education!
    Syracuse, NY

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  363. DouglasGraves

    As a very stronge supporter of the new president this part of the bill is a sham and there looks to be more of it in there.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  364. Danita

    Can you say, yes. The people of New York City said the same thing when Mayor Bloomberg enacted his smoke ban, but guess what less people call out sick, less require their insurance to cover their cancer treatments and the best of all I and other non-smokers do not have to endure any more second hand smoke. Oh yeah, did I say hell yeah!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  365. Tania

    Jack you said it best, if the cigerette packages that you are spending money on is telling you that it is going to kill you, maybe its just me, however, I would not spend 75 million or more to repeat the message, "SMOKE AND DIE, OR, QUIT AND LIVE". you do the math.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  366. Richard of Enoch Utah

    Jack, I have been a smoker for 30 years. I know it is bad for me, I know I should quit, but there is no amount of TV comercials, or Bill boards, or government studies that is going to make me stop. I will stop when I am ready to. Government, save your money and put it to work for people that need jobs or to stay in there homes. This bill will not make people stop smoking and it definetly will not stimulate anthing other than over spending!!!!! Sorry if I mispelled any words, I have to go out and have a cigarette!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  367. Daniel, Ann Arbor, MI

    Yes, yes, absolutely yes! I'm getting tired of everyone underestimating the role that public health plays in our economy. Healthy workers are productive workers. And, lower healthcare costs is a broadly reaching economic benefit. Finally, in regards to your comment about cigarette labeling, human behavior is not so logical, particularly behavioral use of an addictive substance. According to your logic, we could just label heroin to tell people that it's bad for them and then we won't have any heroin addicts. Providing people with the necessary resources and support to change their health behaviors takes much more effect than just labels.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  368. Robert

    Jack –
    Smoking cessation programs can stimulate the economy because many of the people who are trying to quit need to go through programs to help them. These programs are staffed by people. The more smoking cessation programs, the more people staffing them.
    But on a more cynical basis, and I know you'll appreciate this, if people do stop smoking it will cost the taxpayers much more money. Sure, there's a short-term health care savings, but because they will live longer we will have to pay them Social Security for a longer time, and last time I checked, the previous President spent what was in that lock-box (and then some.)

    San Diego, CA.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  369. Justmom

    I think it'll be a butterfly effect in the long run. It's going to be kind of hard for these old smokers to change, but I do believe the more ads our kids see, the more they'll be influenced not to smoke. I'd much rather this 75 million be spent on the possiblities of decreasing the number of deaths from smoking related causes, than hearing about the 20 million worth of Wall Street bonues that was in the paper today. Also, did we dissect what that first 700 billion was spent on, because I swear I don't know where it went.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  370. Rev. Chris Hale

    Quoting from "The High Cost of Smoking"


    "The cost of a pack of cigarettes averages around $4.50 to $5, including taxes, depending on where you live. Using the lower number, a pack-a-day smoker burns through about $31.50 per week, or $1,638 per year. That's a fat house payment or a nice vacation with the family. A 40-year-old who quits smoking and puts the savings into a 401(k) earning 9% a year would have nearly $250,000 by age 70."

    I could buy a new 50 inch plasma TV or go on a week long vacation in the US with $1638 extra dollars, couldn't you?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  371. Jake, Oregon

    The logic of US represerntastives, stymies the imagination. It's like saying "save energy and help the US economy....buy milk in smaller containers, it cools faster in your refrigerator......and cuts down the time it runs. Their idiotic proclamations have prevailed for over 200 years. And we just keep votin 'em right back in for more of the same.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  372. Adrian C.

    No, Jack it does not. It's amazing to me that congress is willing to spend 75 million dollars to get people quit smoking, while people are going belly up everyday. Having just left Bankruptcy Court this morning trying to save my home, I feel like this stimulus plan, slaps me in the face. Only in America!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  373. Ken Cluckey

    Don't you see it?

    All those people stopping smoking will insrease their appetites creating a run on fast food franchises. Go Mickey D.

    In addition, we can skew the death rate toward a more socially acceptable cause. Obesity brings diabetes and heart disease.

    No more of this lung cancer crap.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  374. Vic Stapel

    This ONLY will allow some of the BIG ad agencies with the right connections to close in on a big fat contract. Simply make smoking EVERYWHERE illegal but in your own home. FINISH.
    The less people see others smoke the less kids will want to start.
    For adults very simple YOUR A SMOKER you have 6month to quit otherwise NO HEALTH & HOME INSURANCE.
    TOO MUCH freedom in this world. Let the big cigarette companies pay for all bills incurred by smokers or put such heave taxes on them that their business will crumble. Cigarette industry is NOT a big employer as so much is automated.
    I was a smoker from 13-20 now I am 54. I stopped in ONE day when my best friend age 30 ( smoking four packets a day ) died of lung and throat cancer age 30. She looked like 65. Only psychological shock can make one stop immediately.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  375. Jason

    Quitting smoking will help stimulate the economy. Smokers will be forced to have to find something better to spend their money on. Accordingly, we won't have to keep wasting health care funds on people who are consciously CHOOSING to deteriorate their health.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  376. patrick from miami

    maybe if all those people that are taking cigarette breaks stop smoking, and and stay on the clock maybe we can get something done.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  377. Vel Champion

    I quit three pack per day of menthol July third 1984. I help the economy by doing this by transfering cravings from cigarettes to snacks. To this day I still crave a cigarette whenever I am under stress. I make a choice to not give in to it because I have asythma. But I must bring emphasis to the point that all these years later, I still crave them. Just shows how addictive the cigarette is.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  378. john

    it does nothing , just like the whole stimelus package , its all nothing but a puff of smoke

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  379. Todd - State College, Pa.

    It may help lower health care costs down the road but it seems to me getting more people to smoke would be more of a stimulus because than at least more people would be purchasing a product and injecting money into the economy. Why not try to get people to drink less alcohol if you're looking to save money in areas or the budget? And to be honest, getting people to stop smoking during a more stressful time in their lives, such as a severe recession considering, from what I have heard, the majority of smokers are in the lower half of the income scale and therefore are probably struggling more during this tough economic time, seems not to be the best way to stimulate the economy, add to the deficit, or even be a realistic goal at the moment.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  380. Bridget in Colorado

    I'm all for the stimulus package but I'm willing for the economy to take a hit by getting rid of the Tobacco industry. It's their turn to take a dive. Lets just get rid of cigarettes and then we don't have to spend all that money getting people to quit or paying for medical expenses. We are a smart enough country to realize the cost of the industry blows away any social value.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  381. Stephen Gaertner, P.E.

    I am a liberal democrat, but also an engineer.
    This budget is 80% welfare. I am retired and may profit from it, but do not want it.
    We need investment in our leading industries like semiconductors. We need also to develop nuclear energy (in addition to wind) to save our atmosphere from oxygen depletion and fossil pollutants, and become energy independent like France.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  382. ed

    if they want people to quit smoking, instead of spending money on more television ads they could use the money to help pay for provens treatments to help people quit. everyone knows smoking isn't good for them. everything on the market to help you quit cost more than the cigarettes.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  383. Eva in Hawaii

    If a pack a day smoker quits, they free up that $150.00 or so a month to spend on a wider variety of products and services, providing broader consumer spending. In combination with not incurring the medical expense and decreased sick leave from work, the consumer is in a much better position to contribute to society.
    That said, wouldn't it be better to provide that same consumer a low-interest loan to pay off their credit cards and avoid bankruptcy? I DO see the logic, but I wonder if it is the most direct method for the most burning issues.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  384. Mike Hall

    Hell no stop smoking campain is not worth it, BUT! A tax break for those who are laid off through no fault of thier own would be an excellent stimulant.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  385. nathan

    It's because we live in a world of disillusioned hypocrites who think one side is going to win someday as if tobacco will be eliminated. The rest of us realize the hullabaloo creates jobs and gives people stuff to do so they have less time to complain...or smoke.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  386. john

    certainly. The time that is now spent allowing smokers to go outside and smoke will be spent doing productive work . This will boost productivity and stimulate the economy. In addition the griping from the employees who do not smoke will no longer exist and they will work harder. Win. Win.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  387. Cat

    It would certainly help to reduce health costs and thus keep medical insurance costs down but educational programs and research is a waste of money. We all know the dangers, enough said about that. Smokers will smoke. The best program is not allowing smokers in restaurants and public buildings. This is beginning to show that it is truly unwanted by others and makes it a social ostracism..it's not cool and this works, especially for teens.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  388. marion celske

    It does not stimulate the economy. If everybody stopped smoking, there would be a major negative impact on the economy. Folks would loose their jobs in the tobacco industry, the filter making business, the paper roll business, the truckers who ship the smokes, etc. The largest impact would be on the states (& Feds) who tax the smokes. The taxes amount to MORE than the actual product!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  389. Brian

    Smoking a pack a day in NYC costs almost $300 a month. ($9.85/pack). My friends and I joke that is a car payment. If I stopped smoking I could buy a car. Not that I'd buy a Ford or need a car in NYC but you get the idea.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  390. Ruth in Phoenix, AZ

    That's just another smoke screen to make us believe our government actually cares.
    If they really cared about keeping health care costs down, they'd make it more affordable for us to buy healthcare coverage and it wouldn't cost you $3 bucks for one aspirin when you're in the hospital.
    Stimulate the economy? Get real.
    Who's blowin' smoke now?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  391. A Smoker

    Yes, I am a smoker, granted smoking causes health problems, which could increase health insurance. But why spend money to tell smokers to quit.. we all know its not good for us.. what about alcoholics? they not only create more health problems, but when intoxicated they are a threat on our highways.. what about the overweight? obeisity creates health problems, what about a program to stop drug addiction? My Point, its always the smokers.. at least we keep the tobacco farmers with a legal job to help stimulate these workers I see no point in spending money to tell us what we already know.. smoking is bad.. and we know we should quit.. so leave us alone. The more someone tells me to quit, the more determined I am going to keep smoking. At least its still legal in my own home, for now, .

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  392. Chuck Ricks

    Jack, there is no need to spend 75 Million to get people to quit smoking. The solution is to put a very large consumer tax on cigarettes to raise 75 million dollars, then give the money back to the states to use for tobacco prevention measures or to pay for the cost of treating the morons who still continue to smoke. The tax should be federal so that tobacco-producing states won't stifle it, and while we're at it, lets put a very large tax on tobacco growers, or a tax break if they convert their crops from tobacco to something else.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  393. Anthony

    The short answer is it won't. I do not smoke, but I am smart enough to realize that smokers pay billions of dollars in cigarette taxes, and the government will not just let that revenue stream die if enough people quit. If the government were more responsible in using that tax money for health care instead of bailing out banks and fighting useless wars, this wouldn't be an issue. Smokers pay their way, leave them alone.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  394. Roger, Houston, TX

    Why are we worrying so much about 0.01% of the total value of the stimulus package? Why doesn't the mainstream media ever outline what makes up the bulk of the package, such as transportation projects, school and hospital modernization, local and state aid, etc? Regardless, after 8 years under a short-sighted administration, its great to see that someone finally realizes preventive healthcare will ultimately save us billions in the long run. Trust the republicans to once again take an issue out of context and misrepresent it to the american people.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  395. matthew price

    IT DOESN'T. I'm a democrat. I voted for Obama, and I still find myself screaming at the tv wanting OUR representatives to be responsible by discontinuing their support for special projects and actually doing what we sent them there to do–REPRESENT OUR INTERESTS. Stealing our money through lies and deceit is not a change we can believe or invest in.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  396. Denise from Mass

    Yes, It can. We can set up programs to monitor the progress of programs to help those who want to quit. It will create jobs in research, case management, it will need a receptionist, administrative assistants, data entry workers...and in the long run it will provide data on what smoking programs work and the ones that don't helping reduce our health care because we will have proven data on what smoking programs work and which ones don't. Now that is just one idea on who smoking programs can create jobs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  397. george giaccaglia

    As an unemployed smoker in florida Iv'e watched way to many quit smoking adds. This money does make into the economy through advertising thou. I think id rather be laying sod thou than watching commercials

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  398. Susan Doyle

    By encouraging people to quit smoking it will bring down health cost, and the money that won't be spent on cigarets will be spent on other products that will help stimulate the economy.

    Susan Doyle
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  399. william -portales nm

    no stop smoking program will ever stimulate the economy. My answer is this.... get rid of the house, and the senate....with all the high tech ways to communicate already in place, and becoming more advanced daily, people, and i mean individual persons should be able to simply represent themselves. that way we wouldn't have outrageous, and frankly insulting amendments to these kinds of bills. that having been said...it probably wouldn't have passed if every american could have securely cast a yea, or nay themselves.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  400. patrick

    No, first of all, all the tax money the fed and state govts. will lose. second, don't forget all the money from the settlement with the tobacco companies a few years ago. That money was to be paid off over 30 years. Most states have already leveraged that money out for new loans. They would not only not be able to pay those loans off, but not even afford the interest... This is just a political platform and a stunt.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  401. Marie

    From Ontario, Canada. We have very strick smoking laws and all I can see from them is aniliating people. I am a smoker and I have been shamed and ridiculed and as much as I want to quit, it eludes me.At the onset of these laws, many high-end restaurants closed and many bars and lounges and coffee shops closed because people could no longer have a drink and a smoke and socialize and they stopped going. Even now there are few people who will go out and spend $200.00 on dinner if they can't smoke. It has costs so much posting signs and restricitions of where you can and cannot smoke. At the local mall, each door has a sign that states, "you can't smoke within 9 metres of the door". Jack, its a hugh mall, how many doors, how much money. The most recent laws are that you cannot smoke within 9 metres of a playground – I wonder how many signes they will have to make to cover every playground from every angle.
    If they spent half this money on stimulating our economy, we wouldn't be in the situation we are now. Even though I agree with a lot of Mr. Obama's plans, this one seems like a big waste.
    Ontario, Canada

    January 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  402. Brenda Evans


    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  403. Kris Detwiler

    According to the old Dick Van Dyke movie "Cold Turkey," people often turn to romantic relations as a way to stave off nicotine withdrawal. So getting people to stop smoking would be a boom to the baby industry, since demand for cribs, bottles and Diaper Genies would skyrocket. Isn't that obvious?

    Cornelius, NC

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  404. Bob

    It's simple.
    Smoke breaks = unproductive hours=increased employee sick days=lower productivety = higher production costs etc., etc., etc.

    – Smokeless in Calgary

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  405. Cindy

    The House passes an economic stimulus bill that has $75M to encourage smokers to stop smoking, but wasn't it just last week that the House passed the SCHIP bill to tax smokers more so that additional healthcare services could be provided to children?

    I have a better idea, forget SCHIP and forget encouraging smokers not to smoke. Lets just put the $75M towards additional childrens healthcare in the program already in place.

    Oh, sorry, that may make too much sense!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  406. Karyn Clark

    This is no time to inject spending into the bill that does not actually create jobs. I'd like to see all the fluff taken out and increase basic infrastructure spending. Let's leave our country in better shape than we've inherited it.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  407. Olya, Brooklyn NY

    It can...theoretically. If all 2-pack a day smokers quit, then each would have additional 15 or so dollars to *spend* daily (thousands of dollars annually)...which could stimulate the economy. Health insurance rates would be lowered for them as well. Does that make sense?

    P.S. Cafferty, why do you always look so angry?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  408. Phil Meuse

    Another stupid waste. If everyone quits, who will pay for all of the programs that the government has in place using the taxes & penalties that are already in place? They use smokers to fund programs that, as is typical with government, will never go away. Brilliant. The rest us us non-smokers will be paying for all of the swell new bureaucracies soon enough.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  409. sameh

    In the United States, smoking is the leading cause of death and is responsible for more than $75 billion in direct medical costs.[8] Twenty-five million Americans alive today are expected to die of a smoking-related illness.[9] Medical care and lost productivity due to tobacco use costs each US citizen $550 per year.[6] By comparison, the war and reconstruction in Iraq will ultimately cost at least $200 billion, or $714 per US citizen.
    Oregon, along with other states, has issued bonds backed by future tobacco settlement earnings to pay current bills, rather than use the funds for smoking prevention and cessation programs or healthcare for smoking-related diseases. De-funding smoking prevention programs makes little long-term economic sense, as society saves $3 in medical costs for every $1 spent to prevent smoking.

    Footnote: Each year, 400,000 people die from the direct effects of tobacco smoke, and another 40,000 to 60,000 plus die from the indirect effects of tobacco smok

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  410. Shillie, Sioux Falls, SD

    Knowing that smoking is unhealthy is nothing new. As someone who hates smoking with a father who does, I've been trying to convince him to quit forever. If his own daughter begging and crying to him can't get him to quit, how is the government going to go about doing it? Unless they have some magical skill we don't yet know about, then more power to them. But I highly doubt this is going to get more people to stop.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  411. elizabeth Claire

    It's simple.

    A family with a $10 a day smoking habit will, when not smoking, be able to make a monthly car payment. Or spend that extra $100-200 a month on many other things that get an economy going. This hardest-to-quit of addictions has made slaves of millions of people who spend money on cigarettes even when their kids don't get the basic nutrition they need. If quitting were easy, they'd have done it already. Sorry for the tobacco companies who might have to lay folks off, though, but the farmers can grow different crops, and most of the packing is done by machine.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  412. Joey San Antonio, TX

    It's good see people quit smoking, but I totally agree that we don't need machines to study cigs. They're bad, people.... stop smoking. On the other side, that money WILL generate jobs in the fight against smoking. Like the Truth ads (if they receive government aid) those take actors, crew, cameras, PR, a director, catering, insurance. That commercial will boost jobs in those fields. I myself would benefit from one of those jobs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  413. Kristin Lafayette, Indiana

    In an eight hundred billion dollar package, it seems hardly worth whining over 75 million towards smoking prevention programs. What it is intended to be, I think, is a long-term investment. Over time, it would greatly reduce the strain on our healthcare system, result in a healthier, more productive workforce and put some much needed dollars into our pathetic public health programs. So it's not quick money in our pockets–it's a way to consider and support our future, and I applaud the effort.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  414. Cassandra in Arizona

    It is a known fact that smokers are less productive in the workplace, have more chronic disease, and are less educated. The money spent on tobacco products could be spent on a balanced diet, reading material, or even clothes for their children who are probably going to follow the same path. You don't have to look far to see obese smokers in beat up cars standing outside your local Wal-Mart.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  415. Sandee

    What would all the unemployed growers, manufacturers, advertisers and sellers of tobacco do for a job? So we need more unemployment? Not to mention the bulk of what you pay for cigarettes is taxes.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  416. Duane

    Jack- I have never smoked...can they give me 500,000 to 1 mil. to tell my story. This is absolutely ridiculous. I thought we were going to be doing things differently. I have lived in the DC area for 45 years, and things never chamge.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  417. Sandy

    Lost time at work must be a major factor in the smoking debate.

    Dr. visits, testing and treatment of smoking related conditions takes time and money away from employees and employers alike.

    sandy, new jersey

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  418. Geoff

    It will in no way stimulate the economy. It may reduce health care costs but I don't see how that will even happen since everyone knows that smoking will harm you health, unless you have been living under a rock for the last 30 years. If anything it will bring the economy down even more by reducing the amount of tax revenue in many states. I don't want my tax money going to this rediculous cause or half the other things in this big government bill. The more I look at this stimulus package the more I see it as a waste of time and money that will get us nowhere.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  419. Omar Ceesay

    The democrats do not need to put a dime in to that so call smoking fun or whatever fancy name they give it. All they need to do is add more sales taxes on cigarette. Am sure every smoker reads the label posted on the pack of cigarette that smoking will kill you.
    This is simple jack, increase the sales tax by 90% and everyone will eventually quit instead of wasting tax payers money.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  420. Marta

    No, Jack. Neither tax cuts, althought I would take it. I have a small business, I need customers, no tax cuts, no campaign to quit smoking. We need jobs and assurance of continuing employment for all, so they will visit my store, or I will go bankrupt. Give Congress BIG RED PENCILS and tell them to start cutting anything that do not create jobs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  421. J Freeman/Los Gatos CA

    No it doesn't, this is absolutely ridiculous. And for all of those worshipping Obama, he only could manage to keep the promise of "change" for one week. As this is the polar opposite of change, it is the protracted enforcement of "the same", which does not represent the people, jobs, stimulus, or anything practical. I unfortunately just lost all respect for President Obama, as it is now most evident, that he cannot navigate DC's traditional waters without giving in completely, repaying favors (as is the age old DC two step rule in Washington),and using our hard earned money to do it. This hurts America tremendously, and it's too bad the youth who voted for him will not understand any of this beyond its false marketing to the arts, smoking, and the environment. I am very-very proud to be a Republican once again! The only smoking this helps, is Obama's, as his stress is now lower, now that he has just repayed 819 billion worth of his "Washington favors"!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  422. James Bosheya

    It does stimulate the economy if the money is used to support a new law that will ban smoking in all public places but permiting smoking on designated areas. Then such fund will be justified

    James fr. Canada

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  423. Pieter in VT

    No – STOP wasting taxpayers money – if Senator Harkin is so adamant about it, have him put up his own money or have him organize a charity for this cause.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  424. Randall Lemaster

    Offer me just ONE million dollars and I'll probably make a serious effort to quit smoking. Everything nowdays is going to kill you eventually... wheather its working in a factory, breathing the air in some cities, or eating a peanut butter sandwich!! As far as stimulating the economy or reducing healthcare costs, this pork does neither! When the aspirin you just received in your hospital room costs you $300.00, as usual, it appears to me the government is targeting the wrong people!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  425. George

    Stopping people from smoking can help the economy. If they stop smoking they are at "less Risk" of smoking diseases, i.e, heart disease, cancer, etc... thus spend less on health care costs associated with diseases and more into the economy. If smokers stop smoking a carton or more a week on cigarettes and spend that money on goods and services, think how much better the economy could be especially at the cost of cigarettes.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  426. patrick from miami

    charge 10.00 bucks a pack

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  427. Craig B

    Well, I'm no Geithner, but if cigarettes are not sold and the our medical facilities are not used this will cost employment. Saving money is not a stimulus, spending is. It seems congress is right up there with the financial bonus bunch. It's all about they're interests, not ours

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  428. Jason B.

    Quit smoking programs may not be an immediate stimulus, but a good portion of this bill seems to be laying foundation for future policies. As a preventive heath measure, stopping people from smoking will lower heath insurance costs, especially in a more extensive\inclusive federal health insurance program.

    I think everyone understands the need for stimulus, but, although I back Obama, I understand how the more long-term, program building spending had upset the Republicans.

    Perhaps two bills would be the best: one for short term, high and quick return stimulus, and one for long term spending (which would create stimulus) that can be debated further before passing.

    I feel many of these spending programs that are part of this package are really the pork barrel spending President Obama outlawed for this legislation in the beginning.

    Jason B

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  429. Darlene

    People who are healthier, supposedly those who do not smoke, spend less money using the health care system. in general, spending less money in any industry does not boost the economy. Keeping people sick in the US is big business.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  430. Suzie. Fields

    The stimulus package has very little to do with stimulating jobs. It's a wish list for every Democrat out there. Stop worrying about smoking, fish dams, contraceptives and more money for abortions and start looking at how to get our economy going.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  431. R. Plukas

    Other than the future savings to the health care cost one pack a day smokers could now afford to give a dollar to the homeless guy sitting in front of the convenience store, buy a lottery ticket and still be able to buy a ½ gallon of milk for their kids. People who smoke 2 packs a day could possibly change the world. Just imagine the possibilities.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  432. Joshua Conrad

    I'm sure some people will say it does or does'nt stimulate the economy. But the truth of the matter is it's a 50/50 deal (a what if idea), meant to encourage good behavior and help in the long run. Honestly i think the officials in washington are running out of idea's or else they would not be throwing money at what if scenarios.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  433. hard-nard

    yes and no, stop smoking you save a few bucks and your kids won't miss a meal .... on the other hand the tobbaco farmers kid might have a bit of a stomach growl.... what else can you do with tobbaco? I heard its good for bee stings

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  434. Smoker

    As a smoker, I am the one stimulating the economy. I will die younger than the national average and therefore not draw on Social Security and Medicare as long as a non-smoker. I also pay a huge amount of state and federal taxes on cigarettes.

    Why not go after booze and drunk drivers but, oh - too much revenue loss if people quit drinking. Smokers are the "orphan" group, drinkers are not. Where is the rationale in that?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  435. JEANNETTE from Kansas

    This is an excellent idea and it's definitely something we need to follow through on but it is a fight for another time. It has no place in this stimulus package. We are in a crisis that needs to be addressed immediately and getting people to quit smoking is a long process. Let's fight the fights we can win for now and take up these other measures when people can breathe again.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  436. Jim/NC

    It does not stimulate the economy any more than it would allocating funds to to get fat people to quit eating.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  437. linda north carolina

    If everyone quit smoking, it would only stimulate them to find something else to tax to death.Booze,soda,fast foods.....healthy,poor and miserable!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  438. Mary Ann Morris

    Hey Jack:

    My husband Ron and I stopped smoking and we're still here. So we figure that it bought us a little time. You can't spend money when you're dead.

    Mary Ann and Ron

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  439. Jackie in Dallas

    You know, after reading some of the comments to this question, I think a better question is what SHOULD be in the economic stimulus package.

    * Money devoted to unemployment benefits, re-education benefits, food stamps for the unemployed (in most states, if you get unemployment, you make too much for food stamps, which is inane!), and especially, job creation.

    * Money that MUST be used to loosen up the credit crunch. I would prefer to see it go to the taxpayers, since at least they will spend it on something that helps (like groceries, mortgages, clothes, health care, credit card debt, car repairs or new cars, and other retail spending.

    * Money spent on updating our infrastructure, like roads, bridges, and public transportation.

    Get this passed ASAP, and work on the other stuff later!

    What it should NOT include: money to any company whose board members, and CEO do NOT take a cut in income and benefits, or who have laid off people while giving raises to executives. No money to any bank who used bailout money to buy out other banks and yet have NOT loosened up credit lending to qualified borrowers. No money to any corporation who has more than $1 billion in NET income that has off-shored ANY jobs in the last 8 years, while laying off workers here in the U.S. No money to any company that has been proven to hire illegal workers in this country. No money to any company that spends more than a combined value of .01% of their NET profits on golden parachutes, extras (like corporate jets), or special benefits to executives (company cars, chauffeurs, health clubs, country club memberships, golf clubs, spas, etc.). If they have that kind of money, they don't need my tax money.

    Most of all, what I would really like to see is a cut in benefits for ex-Congress members who were voted out of office. Why should they get healthcare in perpetuity when I can't afford it? Why should they get retirement when millions lost THEIR retirement money due to the stupidity of the government? They should only get retirement and benefits when the economy improved and showed a budget surplus during their term of office, and they weren't found guilty of any fraud, malfeasence in office, ethics violations, or did not break any state or federal laws.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  440. Okaey


    Think "smoke breaks" and how much production we could improve by eliminating those. Maybe we need to get a lot of these legislators in Washington to give up whatever it is they are smoking and get to the business of making some real changes in American lives with little or less "smoke" clouded judgements.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  441. Andrea Bush

    Well, it could go either way. Get people to stop smoking and they will no longer need to buy cigarettes, damaging the tobacco industry. By damaging the tobacco industry, jobs will be lost. People could also temporarily become more unproductive due to feeling depressed without nicotine and other addictive substances found in cigatrettes. On the other hand however, if people no longer smoke, they will have more money to spend on other things. Ultimately, they will most likely become more healthy and productive and have the ability, time, and money to engage in more activities.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  442. Christopher Stewart


    With the prices of a carton of cigarettes at $30-50 nationwide, this habit is detrimental to the overall health of the nation, both medically and fiscally. By shrinking the overall ratio of smokers to non-smokers, money from everyday consumers and suppliers used to keep this undeniably harmful industry alive can be used for long-term and widespread economic stimulus. Think of the money spent on these products that could be used either for advancements in healthcare (through the suppliers), or merely within struggling households that are feeling the bite of the recession at hand.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  443. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    Quit smoking long enough and you can buy a car. Save the dollars you'd spend on cigs and you could go shopping.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  444. Judy MacKenzie

    I had high hopes for the Obama administration but fail to see how a "quit smoking" program can create "shovel ready" jobs nor can I see how a contraceptive program will help the economy. I am rapidly becoming disillusioned with the spending projects I am hearing about in this so called "stimulus" package. It amazes me that all these top economists can't come up with some better solutions.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  445. Hali

    If every body in my state quit smoking today millions of dollars in tax revenue would be lost. Next year, Michigian will be over $400,000,000 in the red. If you take the ciggarete tax money out of the equation, it could potentially bankrupt the state.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  446. Karen Urick

    I fail to see how this will help my nephew who has a wife, 2 little kids and lost his job. If there is all that money to burn, better to give my nephew $100,000 and a job with health benefits. It would be a great investment ssince he doesn't smoke and is a hard worker.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  447. Sheila Ries, Wisconsin

    Quiting smoking may free up money for smokers to spend on other things and cut health care costs, but what about all the tax revenue that will be lost – cigarettes are highly taxed. at least in my state.
    As for the anti-smoking ads, every time one of these nagging messages comes on it makes so annoyed that I light up a cigarette.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  448. Harold J

    At this point in time, stop smoking programs don't help the economy and create jobs, they slow down an industry, supported by smokers that don't care about economy, Let them smoke and let us get on with bigger efforts to solve our problems with the economy,
    No reflections intended for Washington smokers.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  449. frankie

    The Republicans are acting like spoiled brats, when after all their own bill gave CEOs millions of dollars in bonuses. It's been awhile since America had any such far-sighted legisltation in Congress as this Democratic bill. The Republicans voting as block, does not prove they wish to correct weaker parts of the bill, it only proves they just can't stand not getting their way.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  450. Michael, from Ne

    Wow, I didn't know that.

    I don't wanna be too chalice but, aren't the days of the smoker running out anyway? I for one would love to hear that they put that money towards something else. THAT's one $75 mil piece of fat needs to come out of this legislation.

    I wanna see more go towards roads, bridges, and energy for this thing.

    Thanks Jack

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  451. Al Mera

    No, it has nothing to do with stimulating the economy.
    I don't understand why people think that this new president is going to change anything. He's just another politician.
    The present government is the same old government. The same old crooks are still in Washington. The same old practices are still being used.
    Nothing has changed in Washington. Maybe a couple of faces.
    So pork barrel spending is still the norm. Personal projects the vogue. Favors to good old friends the norm.
    Democrats still rule!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  452. Courtney, Costa Mesa, CA

    I am a Democrat and support the stimulas plan – for those programs that actually matter. But I'll play devil's advocate. Quitting smoking reduces the chance of heart attack and stroke, as does quitting fast food. Healthy people are needed to work and reduce the state and government's support of health care. Smoking is also an expensive habit. The money people save could be used to buy products stimulating the economy. That being said, everyone knows that smoking is bad for them and new lame commercials and billboards do close to nothing to get teens, like myself, to quit (or not start) smoking.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  453. Thor

    Research should be done on the production of artificial nicotine or retool the industry to extract it from plants. That way it can be used to produce electric cigarettes, a carceogenic free nicotine dilivery system. If its all done in the U.S. of A. then it would create a lot of jobs. Prohibition did not work on alcohol, the concept did not work, getting everyone to quit a habit will only cause troble. A better solution would be to make a safer alternative for the habit.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  454. Robert Miller

    The Democrat's idea of a "Stimulus" for our economy seems to resonate around their favorite package for some kind of social welfare.
    Our economy needs jobs not welfare, or "stop smoking" programs.
    The long-term effect of unemployment is vastly more harmful to our economy than the potential health care for smokers. The smoking problem may soon be reduced at no cost to the taxpayer, when no one can afford to buy cigarrettes.

    Pelosi and her friends seem to revel in their new powers...able to beat up the Republican's, no matter what the issue.

    –And I'm a Democrat.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  455. realityar

    Just charge more for cigerettes. Tax it to death! That way we part of the proceeds and they get to keep smoking. Eventually they will either wake up or be broke trying to smoke. You can use that money to fund smoke cessation programs. This way everyone wins!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  456. Bryan

    The problem with this question and the entire debate is the word "stimulus". There is no such thing as a short term stimulus that works. There has been a correction of a bubble that has no easy fix. We need a long term "recovery" plan and Obama is trying to lay one out for us. "An onze of prevention is worth a pound of cure." The money invested in smoking cessation will be repaid 10 fold as long as it is directed to the right programs. Its about time our society starts focussing on prevention and gives up our quick fix and instant pleasure mentality. I don't like the amount of money being spent, but I believe these are the investments that might get us out of this mess down the road.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  457. Winston Hall

    The ONE thing that will stimulate the American economy is the same thing that stimulates my personal economy: the ability to both make and spend money.

    Anything in this bill that does not DIRECTLY create jobs is trash, and needs to go in the dumpster. Otherwise, don't call it a stimulus package. Call it what is is... a complete, repulsive waste of my tax dollars.

    Winston Hall
    Shreveport, LA

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  458. Dan

    Jack- As a health care provider, I have first hand experience in how this program can stimulate the economy. Current smokers are spending up to $10/day for cigarettes. This equates to $3,650/year. These consumers will likely divert these funds to a number of other services and goods. Additionally, a portion of the health cost savings will go back to these people in fewer co-pays, decreased likelihood of paying out of pocket for their insurance deductible, and fewer work days missed due to preventable diseases. Not to mention the large savings to the health care system. These programs, as well as, many other disease prevention measures can save government and individual Americans large amounts of money. Another program we need to be talking about is Medication Therapy Management Services. This is a service provided by pharmacist to help patients establish the most safe, effective, and least expensive medication regimen. These services have been shown to improve health measures as well as decrease overall costs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  459. MALIKI

    jack,the packet of cigarette cost almost 5 dollarsfor each smoker a day,that is 150 dollrs a month then counthow many millions of smoker s do we have in US
    it will helpa lot the economy

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  460. Don

    Jack, why is it the people that are suppose to be closet to us are the ones that don't get it. How can anyone in this governement either Democrats or Republicans accept something so CRAZY and unnecessary as more money to quit smoking? I thought we did this back in the 70's, so I guess we are seeing history repeat itself. Let's hope we don't repeat the great depression of the 30's because we are worried about stimulating yet another program that is not pork but pure BS! Please Mr. President, control your congress before they bankrupt us futher.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  461. Gigi in Alabama

    Why not? It will work as well as giving the big tax breaks to those making over $200,000tthat the Republicans favor so much.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  462. Regi

    As an ex-smoke of over 10 years, it absolutely stimutates the economy. I am more active using community resources; (how many people quit and start exercise programs?) i have much more money to spend on other items (i quit when a pack cost $2.00); i have less medical expenses, and thereby more to spend. I have hobbies i didn't have, which requires buying products that promote those hobbies. On an individual scale, it was certainly financially stimulating. If you multiply that by all those that quit it is a grass roots form of stimulating the economy.

    additionally, Lou Dobbs asks why do we have to test what they put in cigarettes? I think he should investigate this story, as i think he would be very surprized.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  463. Daryl Dinal

    Hi Jack,

    It doesn't. I'm a smoker. I can read the side of the pack, watch all the "stop smoking" commercials, listen to my family and strangers as well, and it hasn't stopped me. I'm sure more of the same won't either. It's my problem and at least I own it.

    The good feeling I get purchasing my cigarettes is that it keeps the tobacco growers, workers in the tobacco industry, truckers, advertising agencies, etc. in business. Also, it helps small businesses and State and Local Taxes as well.

    How come nobody carries on about Alcohol which not only causes major illness, it destroys families, and an amazing amount of heartache in general.

    Sodding the Mall makes much more sense to me.


    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  464. Kiel Copeland

    It's about preventing FUTURE smokers from picking up the habit.
    The healthcare savings (personal and governemt) will drive long term stimulation of the economy. And personally, I'd rather their present / future spending be directed towards an industry which contributes to the betterment of the American people. ie: not the tobacco industry.

    You need both quick burst stimulous and long term stimulous, the former for the immediate crisis, the latter to maintain some sense of confidense that we weren't tapped out after the first few months.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  465. Carole

    I am an independent but voted for Obama because I believe government intervention is necessary to kick-start the economy out the mess we're in. However, I am very upset with all the pork the Democrats have loaded onto to Obama's original stimulas package. They know these are nothing than thinly disguised pet projects that will do little, if anything, for our economy as a whole. I consider this as the congressional version of what Wall Street and banking industry executives have been doing - transferring taxpayer money to purposes that will not benefit taxpayers. Not only it is shameful what Wall Street has done, it is also shameful what our congressmen are doing at a time when they know we, the people, are hurting. They were elected to look out for our interests. Instead, they are proving to be money-grubbing crooks just like the rest of them.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  466. supshur

    It's simple: some people have to choose between paying their debts to the landlord or paying their debts to an costly addiction — if we cut out the addiction the choice is easy.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  467. Dino Rossi

    These cessation programs employ counselors, gives nicotine addicted Americans a product that someone who is employed has to produce. These admirable attempts to save and create jobs seems to have an intentional benefit of long term savings too- saving lives, saving precious healthcare dollars, etc. What more do the critics want to prove that this effort is worthy? These narrow minded obstructionist republicans make me ill!

    Dino Rossi
    Bronx N.Y.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  468. Steve in MN

    $75 million to help Americans stop smoking and make life here safer

    $10 to $12 Billion a Month in Iraq that is NOT making us safer

    So what is wrong with "HELPING" ourselves for a change...

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  469. Ron Floyd

    It can. 50 million smokers could have around 100 billion more to spend on something other than cigarettes. Networks could wind up laying off fewer people due to increased advertising. All of these steps can create jobs that will need to be filled so that people can work on the goal. This money is not thrown down a hole. It is spent and therefore placed into circulation. Will it be profitable? Probably not. But it will get money moving through the system. Only time will tell if it actually helps. Doing nothing will NOT help anything. Everybody has their own "solution", but few actually have the guts to put them in place. It is so easy to just be a critic. It is so much harder to be a doer.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  470. Charles

    Not only would money spent not stimulate spending, but were we smokers to stop buying and smoking, states would be more billions of dollars in debt. Smokers are footing local, state and federal bills with excessive taxes paid on tobacco products.

    Leave it to Congress to get it wrong every time. Or maybe not. What a liberal Congress is really trying to do–also in the case of planning somehow to prevent STDs by spending yet more millions–is regulate personal behavior. This time under cover of supposedly “stimulating spending.”

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  471. Bob

    I hope they have about 200 million to spend on physical fitness to help those who quit smoking with the 75 million,.

    Once they quit smoking, they will need to shed all of the weight they put on from eating due to lack of smoking......

    The spending train never ends.....

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  472. David G

    The arguement for the various health related add ons to the stimulus bill,including those regarding smoking,would likely benefit the economy and health care costs BUT not for many years.This bill is designed and exists for the express purpose of stimulating the economy THIS year not in 2019.All of these other add on issues should be part of a wider effort toward health care reform.The bill now moving through congress should not contain anything that would take over 3 years for the effects to be felt.The money allocated to these programs in this bill should be redirected to tax cuts,something still far too little of in the current form of the bill.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  473. Rob from California

    Our economy relies on our unhealthy nature as Americans. It is a sad fact but Tobacco companies fuel our economy. They provide jobs for the farmers, the doctors, the liquor store clerk, and even the mortician. Lets just face it, there is too much money to be made in disease and death. People understand when they inhale that smoke they are not improving their health. Of course now that Obama is president I don't think I will need to have a smoke every time I hear the president speak.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  474. Art

    Mr Cafferty, You know the answer to this as well as all Americans. But, it will not matter the President will get a free ride on the backs of the current and future tax payers. I think you can use this response for all your future questions over the next six months and when all is not right with the economy and we find ourselves in worse shape from government intervention, the popularity of this historical presidency will turn the normal tide as the media and needy population sentence the remaining years of this administration to 11420 Old Georgetown Rd. It is a shame we are such a spoiled country and could not just ride it out. You Mr. Cafferty continue to be a consistent creep be it Bush or Obama. Your consistency is why I listen.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  475. Jordan - Cedar Rapids, IA

    While I respect Senator Harkin, and I can get behind encouraging people to stop smoking, I have to strongly disagree with him on this one.

    While an admirable goal, it has no place in the stimulus plan as it won't directly stimulate the economy now or in the long term.

    We could better use the money on more effective and easily implemented programs like expanding the rail systems in America.

    Investments in both commercial and passenger rail, would help nationwide with jobs as it uses American labor and industries, and has significant environmental benefits as well.

    Best of all, rail expansion has the chance of actually having an effect on the economy FAR faster than trying to convince people to quit smoking and it won't waste more money on stop smoking ads that already don't work.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  476. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    if i keep smoking then i'll die sooner,then the government can stop sending me my s.s. checks every month. Isn't that why they put so much nicotine in my smokes, to keep me hooked.nicotine is more additive then heroin, the government knows it, doesn't want to change it. lite cigarettes are a joke like diet pop or lite beer, it is what it is. if they wanted to help people quit they could,

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  477. Diane from St. Louis, MO

    IT DOES NOT...BUT...
    this question should be posed to Nancy Pelosi (and others) and have her answer that question on TV! I would love to hear what sort of "LOGICAL" explanation could be presented to us!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  478. R.C. -Sedro Woolley, WA

    It's apparent that if the nation could quit smoking, it would benefit the overall economy, not to mention our image. The REAL problem is catchy commercials aren't enough... Maybe President Obama should ask the nation to quit with him while he's in office. ...I would!

    -8 yrs/Camel lights-

    January 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  479. Keith

    Though the total costs of smoking exceed $100 million dollars in healthcare costs and lost productivity. The individuals contributing to this devastating statistic also contribute heavily to the 'economy' by the amount of cigarettes consumed. Think about it, one person at two packs a day equals: $1800 per year on average. Multiply that by 45.1 million( an estimation of the amount of people who smoke in America) ; i'll leave it to you to do the math, as bad as it sounds.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  480. fern

    What's not to understand? Smoking contributes inordinately to our healthcare costs. What's more, many people who smoke (are you one of them?) seem unwilling to take responsibility for the extent to which their habit increases overall use of healthcare resources and overall healthcare expenses – robbing others from receiving these, and causing everyone to pay increased costs to cover them. Granted, it is a very difficult habit to quit. Nevertheless, reducing the number of people with this bad habit will decrease overall healthcare costs, particularly for such chronic conditions as cardiovascular disease and COPD, two of the most expensive chronic conditions to treat, and the incidence of lung cancer, macular degeneration, and a host of other conditions.

    Many smokers seem unwilling to take responsibility for what they are doing, and instead, seem to feel entitled to healthcare payments that cover the cost of their conditions, whether smoking related or not, without any requisite lifestyle changes. Moreover, they continue to undermine the very treatments that they receive for these conditions by continuing to smoke. Did you know that 50% of patients with COPD continue to smoke, although evidence indicates that smoking cessation is the only treatment that substantially reduces progress of this COPD? So, for all those who don't understand the immediate and long term benefits of increased efforts to kick the smoking habit, the investment will more than pay for itself in reducing overall healthcare costs, which are helping to cripple our economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  481. Jason Rogoski

    This is politics as usual! Smoking did not cause me to be laid off in October. This will do nothing for the economy. Neither does putting 200 million into renovating the National mall in DC or how many millions into the Smithsonian. This is politics as usual. I am a Republican that voted for President Obama due to the last eight years of failures by the Republicans that were in office. This is one more case of our elected politicians going for their agendas instead of protecting the very people that trusted them yet again by voting for them. Where is the American spirit of the 70's that lead to so much change. Why are we as citizens so silent now? Thank you to all the republicans who voted against this waist full stimulus plan. People get on the the phone and tell your Senators what YOU think of this! I guess Ron Paul wasn't so crazy after all...

    January 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  482. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Quitting smoking is a personal choice. The government has no business using this money for something as frivolous as this. Use the money to put people to work and stop shoveling the money to some politician's favorite earmark.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  483. honest john in vermont

    No it does not "stimulate" the economy. Neither does birth control. And as we all can see giving banks hundreds of billions willy-nilly does nothing good either. Just that simple. And as a Democrat I have to say that Obama's Stimulus Package is loaded with needless pork. The Obama of the campaign is NOT the same man as President. Obama looks like a big disappointment to me.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  484. Evelyn

    The economy will be stimulated by the hiring of people to produce non smoking ads, paying actors to act in TV and radio advertising, by providing jobs for those who create non smoking patches, paying teachers for stop smoking education, paying people to print non smoking literature, making the paper to print the literature on, paying people to mail out information, driving the trucks to deliver the paper, buying the gas to run the trucks, paying the people who service the trucks,paying the tire companies that make the tires for the trucks, or.....would you rather just give the money to the Republican coporatives for their massages and private jets or let it dissapear on Wall St.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  485. Ron Burley

    It's simple, Jack. Dead smokers don't buy cars.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  486. Vic Stapel

    STIMULATING ...do as Malaysia in 1998. Raise import taxes on cars and luxury good to 1600%. If you are rich and WANT you will contribute generously to the staggering economy. indirectly invite USA peope to BUY LOCAL for say one or two years. This will make overseas producers RETHINK their strategies. Make them open more local factories and split production and assembly with their and our factories. Meaning China would have to do what Japan has done with their cars. It pays off doesn't it ? Malaysia was the 1st country OUT of the Asian economic crisis in the later 90s. and SURE NO to OBAMA souvenir goods "made in china " what a shame! Obama should take that subject on himself and tell America. I do NOT approve of souvenirs baring my portrait or name that are NOT made in USA !! Its as simple as that no need to single out China etc..

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |

    Funding smoking cessation is a long overdue, and an insightful approach to stimulating the economy for many reasons! Helping people stop smoking can lower medical expenses in millions of dollars weekly, across the board, but also specifically among the Medicaid population burdening every state's budget. Smoking doesn't only increase the risk of virtually every kind of cancer, but also it skyrockets costly cases of chronic bronchitis, emphysema, simple colds, complications from the flu, allergies etc. The chronicity of these diseases takes a huge toll, both financially, as well as personally on smokers, their families and employers.
    Besides eliminating lost productivity from sickness, absenteeism, and frequent smoking breaks at work, quitting smoking also frees up a large amount of money that 'quitters' can use for other purchases. The two-pack a day smoker, at an average of five bucks a pack, can save at least $3,600 a year by quitting smoking. That's a down payment on a new car, isn't it? Clothing, electronics...all possible purchases.
    The funding for cigarette testing is very necessary, since the tobacco companies are notorious about lying regarding the nictotine content of cigarettes. They were caught red-butted multiple times, boosting nicotine levels to hook smokers more quickly and more definitively. We must know this in order to alter dosages of nictotine patches to keep pace with tobacco companies' deadly tactics.
    I congratulate this administration for demonstrating such an in-depth understanding of this issue and how addressing it can help Americans be more healthy and stimulate the economy. Win-Win. I love it.
    Dr. Stephanie Clements
    Denver, Colorado

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  488. Tim

    Lets see, if you are LIBERAL, somehow you rationalize your own thoughts in a way that reminds me of what comes out of the south end of a northbound bull .... and you say YES!!!!!!??????? How our educational system has failed us. Morons.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE. This is just leftist pork that would otherwise not make it own its own being stuck in the bill and crammed down our throats. When do you think this country won't be able to take it anymore. If you missed your history lessons, once, some time ago, a group of citizens revolted over being taxed 5% on tea without representation. We (and worse, our children) are getting stuck with a whole lot more without anyone in Washington listening.

    NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOO! This is NOT stimulus.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  489. david doherty

    Jack, it's true that getting people to quit smoking will reduce the burden on our health care, but we need stimulation now, not 10yrs from now! The more I hear about this stimulating package, the less stimulated I am for our new president.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  490. charma

    I hope President Obama get rid of all CEO's, Directors, and money handlers who did not handle money in the appropriate manner. We have a New President, A New Change, New Ideas, and use New people to manage New Stimulus money.

    Its different when your outside looking into a window, now President Obama your inside looking out. Keep God on your life.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  491. Joey San Antonio, TX

    Republicans shouldn't have any say, they had their chance, and they got us here. So maybe we shouldn't look to gain their support. Like Bush said in 01' "You're either with us or against us". 😀

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  492. Korie, Sampson FL

    Jack, i think senator tom harkin is getting this backwards getting people to stop smoking dose not stimulate the economy, and if it do it should have work 20 years ago they should take that part out of the bill and use the money for something else.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  493. Raymond S. Roanoke, TX.

    For me, quitting has put about $150 extra dollars in my pocket every month that now gets used to buy the things I need. Simple enough!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  494. Karen

    Show me a politician who wants to legislatively reign in smoking, and I'll show you a pharmaceutical company who's twirling his leash. I don't smoke. But I do like a Snickers bar once a week, and I've been told it doesn't help my blood sugar. Is there a senator in Nutrasweet's or Splenda's pocket who can make it all better for me?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  495. Denise from Mass

    All of President Obama's programs will create jobs. Many people don't understand because these are community service jobs. I have a degree in Community Service and what the president is doing is creating jobs that will help make communities more efficient these are the type of programs that will create many types of jobs, from clerical, upper management jobs to construction and jobs that can help the less fortunate also. I am happy to see that finally we have a President that understand that the United States is make of many different types of people with many different interest...and he is reaching out accross the board.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  496. Toni Eaton

    Jack...I've been a smoker for more than 48 years...started when I was 13. Not happy with that. $75 million to get people to quit smoking is not the answer. I am now trying to quit...my new year's resolution. Has not been easy, but am willing to try this on my own. The reason to quit has to come from within...tis in your mind..doctors, their prescriptions, or over the counter remendies...helps...but again...it's all in your mind to quit. So my suggestion is.. JUST QUIT! Give the $75 million to help others that need it more....period.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  497. Lawrence Johnson Illinois

    Jack, I'm sure that in a perfect world ,where you have a surplus, this would be a neat way of justifing the waste of money that this surley is . Tom Harkin should learn to pick his battles

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  498. hannah from Florida

    A big fat NO. Want to really save on healthcare costs put alot of the money into preventing hospitalizations or repeat hospitalizations by expanding money education and care in the home. The home care in this country is a disgrace and the cause for many returning to the hospital. Teaching and follow up care could be done very easily and also many hospital acquired infections would be avoided. Also put some bucks into alternative methods of treatments and more natural medicine. but the drug companies sure do not like this. Jobs galore and healthcare savings.Pres. Obama ought to speak to me. I could save healthcare a bundle and make it more concise and affordable.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  499. cheyena

    In order to get people to stop smoking you have to advertise, get actors, producers, directors, have ad campaigns, do print work, have health fairs and so forth, all of these require work, which means jobs. That's how. We need to start looking at the Big Picture. Nothing will stimulate this economy tomorrow. It was only a couple of months ago...Sen. John McCain said the economy was fundamentally strong.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  500. Bob in Tn.

    They still don't get it do they? Trying to attach their personal agendas, to a emergency bailout . Senator Harkin needs to get the same amount of common sense as the working Working or non-working Americans in this country. Understanding we need Jobs. And get people off the unemployment lines. The only stimulation Sen. Harkin gives me, raises my blood pressure.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  501. Jerry Harris

    Jack, you have got to be kidding, if they want to help people quit smoking make it against the law to raise tobacco in this country and quite giving the damn tobacco farmers government handouts to grow the damn stuff. This is the biggest joke I've ever heard of.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  502. Beverly

    No, money to stop smoking doesn't stimulate the economy. Does anyone in Washington GET IT? People don't have jobs, homes and no food, so commom sense will tell you that cigarettes are the last items on their list of necessities. It makes me crazy when I hear those idiots in Washington say "Well the first stimulus money didn't go for what it was meant for". It's simple, each Wall Street Company that used their bailout money for other things, oppose to helping make loans to the public to stimulate the economy, their loans should be called back in now, because the market still crashed eventhough they received the money. Let them do like the thousands of people that lost their jobs, do whatever to make their ends meet. Let them try standing in a three hour long unemployment line and be told you're not sure if you're eligible for benefits, like that poor family in L.A. saw no other way out other than to kill the whole family because they didn't have the luxury of a stimulus package.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  503. Sherri

    Absolutely not Jack! Whomever the person was that added this EARMARK, should be recalled by his or her constituents, and the same goes for Rep. Waxman who added his earmark of Birth Control of which President Obama smartly removed. So far I am very disappointed with the Democrats in D.C. because the earmarks have NOTHING to do with getting the 4.8 MILLION Americans employed again, and the adding the UN-STIMULUS earmarks like this no smoking crap, and $$$$ for the Arts, climate change, lawn maintenance, should be in separate legislation & NOT in this Stimulus package!. It is despicable and I hope the President will have the good judgement to remove them all. So far the Democrats are running neck & neck with the Republicans I.E. putting John & Jane Doe USA, on the back burner & taking care of their OWN self-interest with these stupid pet projects. What the heck is going on in D.C? I thought George Bush was out of the White House!!!!.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  504. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Not neccessarily. However the reformed smokers live longer using more of their medical insurance. It's self perpetuating. Ask me, I know.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  505. Nicholas

    I'm a 22 year old from Washington and I've been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 4 years. Perhaps even more when I used to build cell phone towers for less than it was worth. Cigarettes kill people, why are these things legal? And what's up with all the car commercials? Who's in the market to buy cars now anyways? Lastly the Bill, not gonna work.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  506. Jean St.Louis

    Tobacco and STD.....Hmmmmmm.
    Nope! Won't stimulate the economy. Tobacco and unprotected sex=cancer and disease=slow painful death. Don't need research or new medicines; just kick'em to the curb and let'm croak. Same for the obese who have strokes, diabetics who don't eat right, etc.
    Jack I see a trend here. May have just solved our problem of high cost health care.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  507. nick in ATL

    the tobacco industry is part of the economy too is it not? It directly employs thousands of Americans not to mention the tax revenue that cig sales provide. They should stop trying to dictate how we should live our lives and deal with the corporate thieves who are the true parasites leaching off the American people!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  508. Eric in Reno NV

    Sadly Jack this Nation was founded on tobacco!
    As a smoker who spends $200.00 a month on cigarettes I am contributing to the economy by keeping tobacco farmers, manufacturers, distributors, stores, and states with the taxes paid on every pack I buy! Not to mention the doctors and maybe others in the medical and drug industry when I get cancer! Thanks to our forefathers who started this national and international habit with the natives and the many through history who lied and misled people who can't stop now! I've been a smoker for 35 years! It is a nasty habit but someones gotta smoke them!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  509. Jerry from Allentown, Pa.


    Is there any way to export these opinions to your questions to the White House blog and to Congress? They should hear what the people are saying. It seems a waste just to read them amongst ourselves. Evidently your staff sifts through this blog to pick the best ones. Why not forward those comments to the people who may be inth the position to do something about them?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  510. hard-nard


    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  511. TAYLOR


    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  512. Cera Lawrenceville Ga

    Jack, really, this is not an item to stimulate the economy. This is yet another piece of pork being added to what could be a very impressive package. What is wrong with the Democratic leadership? This is no time to play catch up to get your pet projects in to make up for lost time during the Republican Party ruling period. We are in an economic crisis. President Obama needs to do a line item veto and trim the fat from this bill so that more money can be directly spent to create and save jobs. Forget about the sod for the lawn, forget about the smokers, forget about studies, forget about anything that will not directly create or save jobs. Tax breaks are okay as long as they are equitable and if anything, favoring the less fortunate. Another thing he needs to do to help and was promised on the campaign trail was to do something to stop the proliferation of jobs off shore. This has been a silent killer to our economy. No one seems to be paying attention to the millions of jobs that have been lost over the years simply because corporate greed moved them to lower cost less productive, less effective employees offshore.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  513. csantavicca

    monies put toward non-smoking programs would of course not be
    beneficial to stimulating the economy-we want those people to
    spend money on cigaretts and support the industry----There
    ya go! That was easy---keep lighting-up Mr. President

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  514. Jenn

    It won't stimulate the economy. I work in a hospital and we talk to our patients about smoking cessation till we're blue in the face. People don't quit smoking until they make the conscious decision to quit. On top of the fact that investing this money today will not have an immediate effect on our economy, which is what we need. For every person that quits smoking today, you will not see a decrease in healthcare costs for at least 10 years because it take years to reverse the effects cigarette smoke has on the lungs. This portion of the stimulus plan is just a bunch of fluff added by the extreme leftist in the house. They'll only vote for it if their pork is on there, and they know that the administration is rushing to pass the bill out of fear. So they have an excellent shot of getting what they want like birth control, sodding the lawn, and STD prevention. The list goes on and on, it's disgraceful. Obama promised change and that there would be NO pork on this bill at the expense of taxpayers. We've gone from one extreme to the other. I guess being president isn't as easy as Obama thought it was. He shouldn't have campaigned for two full years on promises he couldn't keep, and the media shouldn't have been so biased basically clenching the victory for him.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  515. Tee from Louisiana

    Does quitting smoking stimulate the economy? YES!! I believe that it will I am a smoker and I have tried several times to quit I have tried evereything I can think of to quit smoking and it is hard wothout the right help. I sat down one day and tallied up what it costs me a year just to support my habit and it was over $4000. I was ashamed. If there is truly a program out there that will assist with me quitting smoking I support it. That to me $4000 I can spend on something else.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  516. MALIKI

    jack,if the ceo can stop smoking with our billions of dollars ,we will be fine

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  517. Jason Rogoski

    This is politics as usual! Smoking did not cause me to be laid off in October. This will do nothing for the economy. Neither does putting 200 million into renovating the National mall in DC or how many millions into the Smithsonian. This is politics as usual. I am a Republican that voted for President Obama due to the last eight years of failures by the Republicans that were in office. This is one more case of our elected politicians going for their agendas instead of protecting the very people that trusted them yet again by voting for them. Where is the American spirit of the 70’s that lead to so much change. Why are we as citizens so silent now? Thank you to all the republicans who voted against this waist full stimulus plan. People get on the the phone and tell your Senators what YOU think of this! I guess Ron Paul wasn’t so crazy after all…

    Jason Rogoski
    Spring Hill, Fl

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  518. SUNNY

    Why just smoking? I would like to quit eating...is there any money for a Lap Band?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  519. mary jo rickel

    Jack, I don't know how to find out how much money in an 819 billion dollar bill is used for so called "pork". Maybe we could make a better judgement on some of these programs if we knew a percentage. Thanks.

    Mary Jo
    Westfield, WI

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  520. Bill,New York

    Jack, While were at it, Why don't we stop drinking too!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  521. mike cleveland

    well jack . i would like to say yes it does . but iam not a lier .who then can city and state governments tax to put people to work building stadiums and sports arena's .are they going to tax the wealthy insurance companys who saved money on health care . no they will tax me because i have no way to stop them .no matter how i vote congress with their partison ways have proven main street comes last if at all....

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  522. Parker in Covington KY

    Ach! The anti-smoking fetishists are at it again! (wow, spell check knows the word "fetishists"..) Can they stop with the social engineering while we fix the economy, please? The anti-smoking campaign is a class war issue – the rich, in this case imposing their anal-retentive values on the poor while their own children sit in asthma tents made necessary to their own parents' obsession with perfect air. It's idiotic at least. Meanwhile, at the bottom of my hill here is a multi-level interstate bridge, the "Brent Spence" bridge, that is a critical link in the road system and carries thousands of cars every day and is in "critical" need of repair or replacement. It would be an irony and a crime if some poor bastard ends up in the bottom of the Ohio river because someone else decided that his "health" was more important to the country than critical infrastructure. Strip it out. I'm a democrat saying that.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  523. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    my first response was based on your question without accessing your text. I still think healthier lifestyle cost less to the healthcare system and people living longer...work longer i.e. bring in more revenues thus more taxes.

    As for your comment
    Seems straight forward: Get people to quit smoking and they won’t drain the health care system. Perhaps that’s the same line of thinking that went into the $400-million the Senate included to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. The House version included $335-million for that.

    I must ask you Jack to ask yourself how much do you think it cost in the long run to society for all the drop-outs and for all the young people raising family on their own with little education...which means little revenues which then means future generations will also repeat the same pattern! It all adds up and we are at a point of repairing what we have not face in the past to stop this low income cycle!

    I agree with you to ask ourselves if we need more campaign (we probably need it for kids) and more equipment to look at cigarettes (probably not unless we are trying to figure out how to make a cigarette half tobacco and half candy or half tobacco and half spinach for a new popeye cigarette!;))...I think we need to tax more tobacco and companies that sell products that are known to be detrimental to our health...but wait a minute this would mean we actually have a conscious and some coherence in life between our words and our actions! Again, I probably expect too much out of responsibilities from individuals, governments and corporations! When we say we are all in this together it also means we all created this crisis and these life conditions together by not standing up for what is right and by letting it go by since it is easier to think it is not our business! Well, it is all our business at home and abroad!

    As you can see we have to ask ourselves do we want a stimulus that is only quick release or do we want measures that are quick release and others that are long lasting!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  524. Jim

    Who’s the whipping boy nowadays? The tobacco industry will be. Media (movies, television, and magazine) received big money to promote tobacco use as culturally and socially acceptable. As soon as society turned, society in the United States turned. Media once again is prospering from this ideal. The only areas of commerce to prosper from this proposal will be the media once again, through commercials and anti-tobacco campaigns. Where does it end? When will media accept their responsibility for influencing social morality?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  525. Andrew

    I think the idea of getting people to quit smoking could stimulate the economy, but I agree with Jack that we don't need equipment to test the contents in cigarettes; we know that they are harmful. Unless the senate is going to put a substantial amount of money into getting people to quit smoking we are not going to see a drop in cigarette sales this coming year.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  526. Chris

    It won't . We need to get back to basics. Rebuild the Railroads, that was the back bone of this country. Build toys in USA, that are not posioning our childern and will last and be passed down to the next generation. If we find companies that can be rebuilt that produces USA products and give them a helping hand, they can hire back workers, build their products and sell them here and export too.
    Our country was built on hard working prople, we can rebuild it the same way.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  527. Geoff

    The government can't spend enough money to stimulate the economy. Let the tax payers keep their money instead of taking it and pissing it away on stupid spending and trying to tell everyone what to do. Only the population can get this turned back around and they need money to do it.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  528. Helen Canada

    Hi Jack,
    I started smoking since I was thirteen,54 years ago,I went through breast Canser 23 years ago,and Brain tumor 6 years ago.I stopped smoking twice for four months but I cannot stop smoking.If I had more canceling I believe I could stop.Unfortunately my Country and yours do not have enough people in Hospitals or any were else that the health system would pay for for people to stop smoking.

    Helen from Canada

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  529. jesse hinojosa

    twenty bucks a pack would stop people from smoking, and take care of some money maters here at home,,lets tax tax tax,,,, smoking is not like pot ,its poison

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  530. John Turner, Bear Island Ontario, Canada

    Jack, the statistics presented to support these arguments are always fudged.
    Having smokers is a great benefit to society. Smokers work and pay their taxes over their relatively short lives, they are usually are gone before they begin to draw government pensions, and usually only require a month or two of significant health care before they cash in.
    It's those "healthy " folks who are a burden to society, they contribute little after they retire, draw pensions for tweny five years, much of that period in need of intensive and costly health care.
    Thank you for smoking!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  531. Robin

    Getting folks to quit smoking will stimulate the economy by:
    1. Greater purchases of Chantix and other quit smoking drugs. (Oh, yeah. Forgot the cut health care cost component there.)
    2. Increasing food purchasing to replace the habit. (Oh, forgot about the obesity crisis and its current and future health care costs.)
    3. Increasing purchases of items other than cigarettes with money saved. (Hmm, cigarettes are probably the only item we purchase where we actually "Buy American".)
    4. Oh, well. Brilliant ideas from Congress? Oxymoron.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  532. Ed... a NC political independent

    This is a big negative part of "politics". There are always claims, such as this one, that is a real "stretch". Does quitting smoking stimulate the economy? Hmmm... maybe, maybe not. No doubt that if we could eliminate totally smoking in this country the death rate from certain diseases/disorders would drop, more people living to work and contribute to the economy... if they can find a job. There would also likely be fewer days missed from work due to illness, etc., etc. The focus should be on those items for which we know, as much as we possibly can know, a stimulative effect is almost certain. As much as I'd like to see smoking eliminated from the landscape... I don't see credible, believable evidence having any substance that promises any significant stimulus to the economy.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  533. David Odell

    Sure, stop smoking plans will stimulate the economy- The Tobacco lobby will spend millions fighting the proposals and demand further subsidies for their famers. This will put billions more in circulation- What an ingenious plan!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  534. Amanda

    Please, let's start framing things in a corporate executive/everyone else ratio. For example, if 15 or 20 corporate executives were to give up their "retention payments," funded by us, we could then afford to help and encourage thousands of Americans to improve their health, their lives, and reduce medical costs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  535. angie

    NO! But giving it to bankers doesn't either. The house needs to be hit upside their heads. President Obama is trying and they are fighting him. We will remember come next election. Just like we voted them in, we can vote them the hell out!!!!!!!!! They should be ashamed. Adding all that pork.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  536. ralph

    As teen smoking gains momentum we are to allow cigarette commercials to continue to be show to children so young they do not know whether it's anti or pro. They are the ones that hear cigarette and tobacco over and over and over. A child doctor pointed out how commercials flash us to interrupt our trail of thought. Commercials about tobacco have been banned and we should not fund government sanctioned cigarette anti cigarette commercials. In Oregon 20% of people smoke. This is way down by 30% over the people that used to smoke yet lung cancer has increased. Could it be carbon monoxide from cars but everyone wants their car?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  537. R.marie & Stephen Carter

    FYI – I just got out of the hospital after spending 2 weeks. I am 44 years old and suffered a major heart attack. I smoked since I was 21 years old. Why not try and educate, keep people from starting smoking, and inudate people. Moreover, my being sick now keeps me from working and contributing to being a tax payer. Thereby the economy suffers (let's pretend things are not as bad). A new way of thinking, better opportunites, job, and education will definately change things around. So ramb it down people throw do not smoke, use protection, eat right and execise. The money alone for my hospital stay must be outrageous. So get real, a healthier nation and a more productive and well enformed will be great. God bless America.



    January 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  538. Sean ~ Sonoma "Wine Country" California

    Heavy taxing and education help reduce smoking, however the money not spent on cigarettes will go to quit smoking programs, buying; candy, gum, wine, pot, movie theaters, restaurants, and many other recreational expenses.

    The air here in Northern California is much nicer since most folks have quit smoking. As for the smoke testing equipment, well these are probably made by well paid technicians, many are here in Northern California. We could use the money as well.



    January 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  539. Laurel Irving

    As far as I'm concerned, cigarettes should be illegal. There's nothing good about them. If cigarettes were a new product the FDA would never approve it. Getting people to quit smoking will produce more healthy and effective workers – less sick time taken, better decisions and less mistakes being made by people who are not driven to get their "fix" from cigarettes several times a day; not to mention the millions of dollars saved that is currently wasted in the health care system as a direct result of smoking.
    I'm not a smoker, but I know it's not a cheap habit. If a heavy smoker quit, that would mean thousands of dollars saved that can be put back into the economy – wouldn't you rather get a nice new 72" TV at the end of the year, instead of a bunch of cancer sticks?
    New Brunswick, CANADA

    January 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  540. Fran Plec

    It won't. I'm a smoker, and of course I should quit, and I've known for a lot of years that I should quit, but hiring some anti-smoking guru to try to tell me the same thing one more time is a waste of taxpayer money. I thought "stimulus" meant infrastructure jobs–construction, bridges, the old FDR-type stuff–aren't we getting a little sidetracked here?

    Las Cruces, New Mexico

    January 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  541. Beatriz

    Theoretically, sure. But that is similar to the argument (R) give for tax cuts. Tax cuts will keep $ in the hands of the people who know how to make $ and will eventually hire 6 million people to help them make it. In theory, sure it works. In REALITY none of this stuff really works. Lets stimulate the economy with REAL jobs. Lets work on the infrastructure, produce green energy, build schools, etc etc. These things are tangible, not theoretical.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  542. linbit-Greensboro, NC

    If we could get the "do gooders" out of the democratic party, and the "tax reduction for the rich" idiots out of the republican party we would all be better off. Let's go back to what Obama campaigned on. That's what we voted for.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  543. Nancy, Tennessee

    As millions fly out the door, would it be too much to ask the Congress to use some common sense in how it should be spent. If they don't know how to create jobs, we should find some experts who know what we need to manufacture in this country. Clothes and shoes made in the USA would be a good start. Wildly spending tax dollars for things that already exist makes no sense. The stimulus package has some flaws and I hope the Republicans do hold out for a better one. We need the economic package moved along swiftly, but it needs to be cleansed of all useless fodder.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  544. Matt Savage

    Once again, the US has it all wrong. Here in Canada, we tax cigs through the nose! This has a two pronged effect - first, government rakes in loads of tax (je. economic stimulation), while claiming that the high cost will result in fewer people being able to smoke (quitting smoking).. We've also taken the same approach with liquor sales! Unfortunately, we are all broke, because we spend so much on booze and cigarettes, however, the economic stimulus (via taxation) seems to outweigh the costs. Maybe we Canadians could use some help on this too???

    January 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  545. Rick from NC

    I have alot of friends that work for tobacco companies, Now, they will help the jobless figure along with the farmers that grow it for a living, that they have done for Hundreds of Years.
    Why don't they ever attack the alcohol industry, People that smoke while driving, generally don't kill someone!!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  546. greg keehn

    just throwing our money away, 335 million,for what adds up to pretty much an ad campaign? there are so many people without health care in this country,some have not had a check up in years because they cant pay there other bills,so they go without, how about setting up a system that allows for us citizens to have three free medical evaluations a year, the population of the us is a little more, why not give each citizen a million, if they want people to spend money,this is the way to go,charge more for healthcare,and the people will spend more for other things. hence the economy is all good again.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  547. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va


    I don't think it will stimulate the economy but at least they'll be in their seats or offices working instead of outside adding to the healthcare costs of the nation.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  548. Eric from Iowa

    Harkin assumes smokers both want to quit and are already paying health care expenses.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  549. Bill

    Maybe some of that stimulus money could be used to help those poor smokers on wallstreet after all, we wouldn't want anything to happen to those "Pillars of the Community" I,m sorry Jack its bit off the subject but those money squandering .........have me really burnt up! I'm really hoping that somebody is looking into it and action will be taken especially against the executives that have received government money and have given it out in bonuses. P.S. let them smoke their damn cigarettes the hell with their lungs.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  550. Michael Renshaw

    Mr. Cafferty; youre a "hoot": yet this package would simply do nothing to stimulate the economy immediately. He is right later it would produce healthy workers who don't go out and smoke in the worst weather and catch illness that prevent them from doing work while they are supposed to be working when they are getting sick. It would ultimately reduce health care cause; howevere thats later not sooner.
    I think however good intentioned , in this bill is not the time for it.
    thankyou for listening.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  551. Rick from NC

    Oh, but it's OK for all those Thugs in Washington to Smoke their Cigars!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  552. Pipe Culver City, CA

    Hmm...Smoking and the Economy,
    As a holder of one of the receipts of this package, I would rather it focus on absolutely crucial programs and investments than cater to votes by including "something for everyone".
    The Obama Stimulus Package again shows the "pork" of politics. I am in full support of a package that creates jobs, tax cuts, innovations, ect, but what happened to the "line by line" proclamation that was voiced by the campaign? I understand that the term was referring to the budget, but doesn't this spending directly correlate?

    How about you tax the hell out of cigarettes? I feel that would curb the numbers; Lower health costs, lower number of smokers, and increase government revenue.... on top of the 75 million saved on the program.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  553. Tom McCullough

    JUST SAY NO!!!! Was such a wonderful sucess. It did not work then, now or in the future. You can't carry all the health care problems on the backs of tobbacco. No body has ever walked out of my store, a cigar shop, and killed anyone with their cigar. Can you say that about bars. Alcohol creates more health care problems then tobacco. The tax on a 12oz. beer is 5 cents federal tax. The Federal tax on a $5.00 Cigar is 25 cents. Eliminating tobbacco will not stimulate the economy. It will only cause more federal spending on programs that don't work

    January 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  554. Kevin ---Newport News VA

    This is the just some more dumb stuff from Washington politicians that don't have to worry about putting food on the table. Grease some palms and make it look like they care about the people. None of this is going to help me pay my bills or bring people in my store. Give us a tax break so we have more money in our pockets !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  555. Donald

    Smoking has nothing to do with stimulating the economy, it just is the item sold that generates the most money. They need to tax alcohol to get more money, this kills more people every year. I'm really tired of the extra tax on cigarettes. I have smoked for 30 years and had cancer on my vocal cord. My wife smokes for 30 years and she is very healthy. I think someone is making up the numbers that are smoking related.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  556. Ralph Nelson

    NO! As an economic stimulus it is a waste of money and exactly what upsets me about the Democratic stimulus bill...too much does not stimulate the economy and is stupid. Spend the money on those things that stimulate job creation and I do not mean government jobs which do not generate a profit and are not self-sustaining. And do not spend it on tax cuts for the rich (doesn't stimulate anything in a down economy). Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  557. Will from San Jose

    I don't know about the economy as a whole, but the pork industry is certainly getting a big boost.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  558. Kiel Copeland

    It occurs to me to additionally consider the lower overall cost of helthcare employers would have to incur with fewer smokers on the books...
    ...in addition to the numerous positives preiously mentioned.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  559. Catherine DiMatteo

    There are still people out there who do not believe that smoking will hurt them. They tell you of a grandmother/grandfather who died at 90 and smoked until the last day of their life. Maybe with some more scientific proof, we can get to them. Also, aren't scientist workers?

    K. DiMatteo
    New Hope, PA

    January 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  560. J.Smith

    I don't think that if the whole country stopped smoking it would boost the overall economy as much as the creation of new jobs and getting people back to work would do. Why do we always go to an extreme when one thing is proposed and some folks throw in a proposal for a complicated cause like "quitting smoking"? Millions try to quit...they buy all the "fixes" to stop their addiction and still fail year after year. I am a non-smoker by choice, so perhaps I do not have quite the compassion for those folks who do smoke....who run up medical expenses that create havoc for the US Health Insurance Community but....with jobs leaving the country by leaps and bounds, why can't we address jobs today and health issues brought on by habitual smokers tomorrow? This is a habit that will surely get worse with folks loosing their jobs!! J. Smith, Fort Wayne, Indiana

    January 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  561. Frank

    People that don't smoke don't die as fast or get as sick. Less sick and living longer means greater productivity. Greater productivity means a more competitive workforce. And that helps the economy.

    That being said - the loss of healthcare jobs, tobacco jobs, and dry-cleaning jobs will offset that somewhat. And elder care is expensive, but then again it creates jobs. And... hey wait. Can't just answer yes or no to this question!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  562. Audrey June

    It will stimulate the economy by people stuffing themselves with food to replace the tobacco and then you have that vicious circle – are they going to have a health program for the "overweight" people who are a bigger burden on the health care system than smokers. Yes I am a smoker from Canada and all it created here was unemployment in the bars, casinos, tourists spots, restaurants and when they stopped smoking in the offices many many years ago (we were told it would improve the air and make life healthy and the workers wouldn't be off sick so much) – guess what – didn't work – they have less production in the work place now than when they left people alone to make their own decisions.

    Van Island, B.C.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  563. Marian Montana

    I am a smoker. The day they get rid of all the tobacco farms in the U.S., get rid of the Dept. of tobacco, alcohol and firearms is the day that I will stop smoking. In the mean time I am smoking and supporting all of you people who want to make it hell for we the taxpayers who are supporting your whining.
    Close all that I have said, or stop closing our rights to smoke in restaurants, businesses and all the rest. If it weren't for us puffers you would ALL be out of work. So stop whining and THANK US.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  564. Jean St.Louis

    The behavior of Congress makes me feel like I'm continually having unprotected sex, and may drive me to smoking a carton a day while gulping straight vodka. Would that count as stimulating the economy?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  565. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    Considering the expense of treating smoking related diseases such as lung, throat, mouth cancer, and emphysema, etc., This could only be good for the economy. I used to smoke and stopped when I became feareful for my future health and became aware how I was contributing to the well being of the legalised criminals of the tobacco industry. Health care is expensive enough and while we shouldn't turn those in need away, we should try to avoid unnecessary health risks! In view of overwhelming scientific evidence, only fools could defend the "virtues" of smoking!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  566. Nicholas

    Maybe intact a law that makes 15 year olds now the last ones who can purchase cigarettes. When they turn 18 though. Just shut this manufacturing process down. How would I get my cigarettes though! Perhaps people who are addicted to death can get their smokes through the postal service!? Get people who are wanting or willing to quit greater help.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  567. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Jack, the majority of lower income people smoke, due to stress, depression and such. If they didn`t there money would be spent in more productive area`s, not to mention the money not being spent on health care.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  568. Peter Krieser

    If the equipment purchased is required to be American made, that produces American jobs. Obviously, the researchers and program employees will be associated with American institutions, NIH and American universities and health organizations. American wages stimulate the American economy. The same is true, regarding, funding for any health program.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  569. Tony Olonode

    The country have been on smoking fire since 8 years ago. The smoking bill to stimulate the economy is another way to fool us, just as G. Bush said weapon of massive-destruction to fool the whole country. The Republicans should go to hell to critize the bill. Although this bill will save Americans not destroy or kill Americans by going to the war

    Tony Olonode
    Houston, Texas

    January 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  570. Jeanie of SW Indiana

    Nope! You are the only one who can give yourself the freedom of quiting smoking.
    ALSO, Jack, I love your show and DEFINITELY your comments.
    Mr. Jack, keep up the good work.
    Hope to see this.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  571. Joe in DE

    Yes, people will live longer and be healthier therby contributing more to the economy anf paying more taxes. Is your question was intended to be – is this a good stimulus, then the answer is slow acting but the long run value may justify. There is at least the funds expended on the effort..

    January 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  572. Jonathan Michalak

    The answer is a simple no!!

    If you want to stimulate the economy and you want to have people get involved in charity work, the best answer is to put the two together.

    Have a tax deduction for people who give their time to charity work. The charity org. would apply for a federal number allowing them to issue a receipt for charity work by the hour. The american that does the charity uses the receipt when doing taxes to reduce their income.

    This also could be done for companies who let their workers off and count it as a day of work to do charity work once per month.

    Doing this gives people more money and less due in taxes and helps move america forward by making america better.

    This is better than throwing money at a few to stop people from smoking.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  573. Ken in NC

    If people stop smoking they stimulate the economy by enrolling in weight reduction classes.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  574. john lemieux

    I don't think it does. If there are more numbskulls smoking wouldn't you need more healthcare workers? I love the irony.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  575. Alan, Buxton Maine

    The whole idea is absurd. Harkin is one of the longest serving senators and it shows. He has been there so long that he is compelled to continue the same old ways that served to nearly destroy our country and he will never change. We need term limits to keep this from happening in the future.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  576. James O Rogers

    No Jack.These democrats are putting thier wishes on us ,and proubly getting money from lobbist to put them threw.This earmark thing has to stop.Dont they know they are putting more money up to pass these foolish hobbies they have.Its not thier money,they dont work for what they get now,& still want more money,no matter what it cost the tax payers.Pelosi & Reed should be ashame of thier deself ,as so should the rest of them Idiots who keep adding on more money.Im sick of ear marks,& Obama should stop it all together.The answer is no.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  577. Jan Illinois

    Oh This is Great!!! What in the world are any of these things being talked about in this package for. What a bunch of Dung!! Jack , people have been smoking what they want, sleeping with WHO they want, since the dawn of time and that is not going to change, why is Obama putting up with this junk. It should all be thrown out of this deal. Now. What a waste!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  578. matthewbenzor

    Thats is like a catch 22 people pay taxes on ciggs. but health wise it might save some doctor visits cut cost on certain treatments also for people who dont have health care and visit the ER for smoking related aliments but still have to be treated and not turned away. someone pays for that maybe we should tax big tobacco for that special smoking related sickness well call it tobacco tax for smoking patients to help pay for cost . In the long run I would say yes but lets see if Big tobacco lobbys for some of that money to keep it from going there

    January 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |

    I am a non smoker. I believe the government shouldn't waste $75 million to get people to stop smoking. I am appalled that they are over taxing tobacco products. If they keep that up, they may have smokers committing crimes to pay for their habit. First of all, they will never get everybody to stop smoking. That is a fact. If they are serious about trying to get smokers to kick the habit. They should make tobacco a illegal drug. If they do that, the state and federal government will lose the taxes they impose on the tobacco industry!!!! The 75 million is just another wasteful pork project

    January 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  580. Augustine Detres

    Stop smoking programs are not very expensive and are a great investment that will significantly lower health care costs in this nation. Considering that this product has been confirmed as a toxic substance we should do what we can to eliminate it from our society. The other option should be to pass legislation that will out-law tobacco sales because of its toxicity.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  581. Mike, FL

    Stupid is, as Stupid Does!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  582. Chris

    One simple word: pork. I am sure this bill is loaded with the stuff like everything else Congress comes up with. The money must be going back to Iowa somehow.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  583. Mike, FL

    Well if no one smoked, at least they have to get more work done, Talk about non smokers getting the shaft on breaks, smokers always get more, so yea im for no smoke and raise it to $20 a pack i dont care.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  584. Nicholas

    I wonder if he reads all these lol. So many people so many ideas on how it should be. I can't believe I've immediately started to hear things about gun control? It's in the Constitution! Written with Iron Pen!! It's not the Democrats nor the Republicans. It's the Government. I don't have a gun but if I did I wouldn't let anyone take it from me!

    January 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  585. Sherri (From Mills, Wy.)

    Yes. Healthy people don't take as many sick days, and non-smokers have more and higher medical costs, and are costlier to insure. Of course it saves money, unless you're a republican. All that matters to them is that they're not in control anymore

    January 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  586. Ann

    Jack, I think we ought to leave smokers alone. There's enough pressure and stress already at this particular point in time for all of us. It's unfortunate that our primary and secondary schools have not educated us on how the Scientific Method is used in medical research. I wonder how many of us have read an actual medical research study or how much we would understand, if we did. This kind of research excludes all those things that cannot be measured such as the effects of emotions, stress, beliefs and so on. And, how many of us are aware that it still hasn't been determined what, in cigarette smoke, acutally causes illness. We need to be much more vigilant about what we're choosing to believe without doing our homework

    January 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  587. joey yankee lake n.y.

    It doesn't. We have been lied to again. This time it is Obama and the Democrats doing the same type of fear mongering that G.W. Bush did with TARP money. Are we in for 4 to 8 years more of bad government?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  588. Lillie Murphy

    Your question indicates the money is geared to help people to stop smoking. You lead people in the wrong direction. The money is geared toward research for reducing medical cost for smokers in the future . We cannot stop people from smoking.
    You should visit places like Moffitt in Tampa, to see the cost being spent on people who are being treated for cancer , most of whom got the cancer from smoking. Think of the peanut butter problem we have now, if the FDA had set up some system for checking the various plants, we would not have had the deaths that accured.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  589. Ed Hawkind

    Hi Jack, I'm from New Jersey by way of Brooklyn ,NY and after having lost my business, house car and hopes due to the republican 's erroneous policies of trickle- down , voodoo , tax cut economics I just think it's time that we stop wasting time and money on things we've already spent money on like cigarette smoking prevention. This economy is in such miserable shape that if it was a dog we would mercifully put it to sleep. The republicans are acting much to ignorant to be college grads and ceo's , so it must be pseudo- congressmen limbaughs' master plan to hinder and sabotage Mr. O's program to save our country from complete economic ruin. I am an average African- American who has worked all of his life to try to achieve a better life for me and my family and I resent these inane roadblocks to my and my family's future, as do 54% of the electorate. I know you may not read this on the air but that doesn't matter what does matter is that the American people come to their senses regarding the republicans stall tactics.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  590. John

    Are these people serious? Like that couldn't be taken into another bill another day, who cares about tobacco killing you when you don't have a house to sit, relax and smoke the darn things in your recliner in. I can see the Democrats getting bounced out next go around...neither party gets it, and the President better get some balls and speak out more about bipartism and,compromise from both parties, Individual and small business Tax cuts, with spending only on infastructure such as roads, bridges, buildings (K- 12 schools, hospitals, federal buildings, power stations, etc,.. All those pet projects can take a back seat and that's like at in the last rail car.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  591. John

    Jack I am afraid that you are giving the Republicans just what they want false talking points in regard to the stimulus package. The media seems to ignore the main points of the presidents plan and zero's in on a few minor ones. As the president has pointed out and tried to do repeatedly was to include the Republicans in developing this plan. He has also let the American public in on everything and encouraged suggestions. What he has not done and has no intention of doing is to let the Republicans lead him into using the same failed policies that have wrecked this great country. Has everyone forgotten allready why we are in the middle of this mess? Twenty years of trickledown economics, deregulation, and corporations writing the laws of the land with the assistance of the Republicans have brought us to this point. The presidents plan may have a few things that need changing but the bulk of it has a chance of bringing us out of this mess so lets get behind him and tell the Republicans you lost so it is time to support our president and our country.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  592. Kiel Copeland

    If you are a smoker and are listening...

    ...for the good of your country, quit today. Quit right now.
    If you all would have done what you know you should have done yesterday, the Dems wouldn't have any reason to put these funds in today.

    So please, quit today so we don't have to spend more money on this tomorow.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  593. Louise Achee

    No, spending this money on anti-smoking measures does not stimulate the economy. How is this for irony Cafferty? Part of the SCHIP program is going to be funded by an increase of cigarette taxes, you tax the people who smoke, you spend money for anti-smoking campaigns, so why not just get people to smoke more not less? Our politicians are insane.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  594. Bryce Overturf in Dallas

    If we all stop smoking then how will they raise tax money. In Texas everytime they want revenue they raise taxes on cigarettes (aka SIN TAX) and alcohol. If we all stop smoking and drinking then where will they get additional revenue?, big business? not likely. I say we take all the money from these program and the STD program and keep it in our pocket. Buying cigarettes stimulates the economy $4.00 at a time. My question is if we smokers are costing health care so much money, what about obese Americans should they be taxed by the pound at least smokers will drop dead will the obese? No they will just weigh down the health care longer, get disability because they can't work. MMMMMMMMMM..........................makes you wonder.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  595. Jacqueline

    No Jack, as I smoke a Virginia Slim Regular Light cigarette. They should leave us smokers alone...I get my best ideas after I have a smoke.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  596. Abbie Herrick

    I don't think anyone should spend a penny in stopping smokers from smoking. In fact I think they should take all the warning lables off except one that says "POISON–THIS WILL KILL YOU" and stuff the cigarettes with even more nicotine and let the smokers smoke themselves to death that much faster, and that will free up their jobs for non-smokers.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  597. Robert Crow

    how about the class action lawsuits the states versus the tobacco companies for the same said healthcare medicare or medicaid monies they wanted to save on....... only to now order the tobacco companies to put yet one more chemical in for fire retardent paper, I thought smoking was still legal or is this edging towards a new prohibition? I want to start for a ban on christmas trees, they to cause many structure fires which is the theory on the fire retardent paper.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  598. bill depp

    It saves lives and that alone is worth it...plus the health care $$...are you stimulated enough Jack?

    January 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  599. Donald J. Brown

    Jack, are we Americans stuck on stupid? Cancer is a pandemic in this country and although smoking is said to be linked to its cause; the radiation that is produced by X-Rays, CT Scans and the likes is known to cause cancer- so would quitting X-Rays and CT Scans help the economy get better? Wake up America.We are being bamboozled and hoodwinked.


    January 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  600. garrick

    hi jack
    yes it keeps people that teach how to quite in jobs also they sale that horrible gum and it makes the tobaco ind to pay more taxes to keep their products being sold plus it helps the farmers that grow tobaco farming

    January 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  601. Matt

    ask an employee of Phillip Morris what they think of that idea

    January 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  602. sue

    It doesn't.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  603. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    Of course not. This is no more than a Democratic Senator trying to wiggle his way up to the feeding trough with the rest of the pigs. Every democrat in Washington has a need to get their share of pet projects in this pork-filled boondogle. The CBO estimates that only 12 cents on the dollar is actually stimulus. The remaining 88 cents is crapola aimed at a democratic social agenda. Unbelievable!!!
    I guess these elected officials in Washington didn't get the message that the American people are pretty ticked-off over this spending package.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  604. matthew


    No it will not. It should never have been in there in the first place. When will Congress wake up and see that us , the regular puplic are the economy. Not the big banks, not the corporations, but you and me. Give regular folks the choice to do what we want with the money. We will spend it. Insted of trickel down lets try trickel up.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  605. Sharon

    What doesn't make sense about this, is the (GOP) Senators are talking about increasing taxes on cigarrettes to cover health insurance for children, which parents make less than $60,000 per year and can not afford health insurance. Where does this make any sense? Maybe this is why I'm not in the Government.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  606. John

    It's definitely a great idea. So was including funding for planned parenthood. Think about it... if people aren't spending (on average) $6.00 for a pack of cigarettes, and the average smoker (smokes 3 packs a week) that's roughly $1,000 a year they will save, not to mention the savings on their health insurance, and future care costs. But then again, nobody's got jobs, so nobody's got health insurance, so nobody can afford to be cared for.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  607. TC Smythe

    Hey Jack –

    I'm pretty tired of hearing how smokers create a burden on the medical system. The higher insurance rates that smokers pay was designed so that they would NOT be a burden to the rest. If it needs to be increased, then increase it, but don't think for a minute that they don't pay their fair share or that non-smokers don't benefit from the lower rates that they pay.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  608. jerry kennedy

    Hey Jack,
    Did you get the message I sent to you yesterdy or was it canceled by the cn watchdogs. There was no bad words or any secrets.I simply ask you to read Presidental exuitve order #11110 from 1963 by JFK before he was killed. please return an email telling me that YOU got it or say something on TV. Thank you ,jerry kennedy

    January 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  609. Ed Hawkins

    Jack is everybody going crazy, any money spent on people is good stimulis for this sagging economy oh and in the above comment I missed a letter in my name it ends with an s. Thanks Jack I love your show even though they only give you a few minutes each hour.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  610. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Sent this to the wrong text...

    Hi Jack,

    it is a known fact at any time and especially in a recession pharmaceutical companies are not suffering! Let’s keep stuffing ourselves for companies to come up with more and more drugs for all of us to keep on paying…Maybe we should hire a pharmacist and not a President as Head of State! 🙂

    January 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  611. julie- Palmdale CA

    Yes -The money spent on cigarettes cost much more than the package is worth in terms of medical care we all must pay. And if they weren't buying their cigarettes they could be purchasing something else with the money.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  612. Vance


    I dont believe that providing money for anti-smoking campaigns and such will not benefit America in anyway. The production of tobacco has always played a major roll in the economy and in fact it was one of the bases of the American economy; and it has been for centuries. That 75 million needs to go towards something better.


    January 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  613. Dr. Lindsay

    People who smoke are generally poor, uneducated or old. These are also the same people who expect the government to pay their medical bills via medicaid and medicare. Might not stimulate the economy in the short term, but will save our country a great deal of money in medical expenses especially as the baby boomer generation gets older.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  614. Dean Virginia

    Isn't obesity as dangerous to our health as smoking? Will we have a stop eating program in the stimulus?

    January 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  615. Tom Clark

    I wonder, does the bill explain how this particular measure will stimulate the economy?

    My conjecture is that it will stimulate the economy by reducing health insurance costs for a healthier average policyholder. As a former smoker, I have much more money to spend across the economic spectrum rather such a large percentage going just to tobacco companies and various taxes.

    Smoking is really bad for you, nonsmokers are more productive, it is a win-win for me...

    January 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  616. sameh

    me personally i believe that the only way we can peak and Stimulus our economy is to make hard for all companies who close down thier business here in America and went to China or to latin America searching for more profits from cheap labors..we need to make it hard for them to ship their products here . and enforce them to ship their equipments back to America and start running their wheels here again.
    this is the only way we can put people who lost their jobs to work again and makes our industries open their doors again . the Free Trade Agreements we signed with different countries without looking and comparing the work environments and work Law and Rules and labors rights and Insurance in these countries and the differences between the life style here in U.S.A . that is a big Shame for our law makers who agreed and signed these agreements. basically they are protecting and helping big Bucks makers and not looking for Middle class people. let us fix these agreements we signed . and our economy will boost up again...

    January 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  617. sabrina

    It may not stimulate the economy, but many smokers have paid plenty in taxes and would quit if they could. Government has collected plenty from smokers and are now denied medical treatment due to smoking yet the taxes have been collected for years knowing it was causing damage. The other big issue is the lawsuit that the governement collected billions for from the cigarette companies claiming they were going to help smokers quit! OH SURE
    Same old stuff, government has collected lots of money for lots of things, just where is the money collected being allocated to besides banks and pure waste! Anytime the taxpayers are going to get some back of what they paid, some find any reason to piss and moan too bad they can't put energy towards finding out where money goes instead of complaining about it. Lets see smokers cant smoke, cant quit, shoot, we might as well line them up and blow them away is the solution that it seems poeple offer. Good for Obama, about time someone comes up with ideas to help these people who are still smoking and getting flak- it is a tough thing to do. People tell me it is harder to stop drinking or taking drugs then to quit smoking, I think that says something!

    January 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm |