Dr. Jason Chesney, director of UofL Brown Cancer Center, wrote an op-ed on the issue of increasing the cigarette tax in Kentucky for the Courier-Journal on July 31.
As a physician who works with cancer patients every day, I see the devastating toll tobacco takes. I believe that we must do everything possible to reduce the suffering and early deaths of these patients, including raising the price of tobacco in a way that will make it harder for our youth to start smoking.
Addiction to tobacco starts early. Nearly 80 percent of all adult smokers started smoking by age 18, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Tragically, 119,000 kids currently under the age of 18 in Kentucky today will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.