Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Tuesday, Oct. 12


To curb smoking, boost tobacco tax

Improving people’s health has rarely been more urgent than it is right now, which is why I’m glad to see Sen. Chuck Schumer is among those working to find ways to help better public health through the reconciliation legislation. One piece of that bill that I would urge Sen. Schumer to support is an increase in the federal tobacco tax.

Increasing the price of tobacco is proven to be the best way to get people to quit smoking and prevent kids from starting.

Considering tobacco use remains the No. 1 preventable cause of cancer in this country, every person who stops smoking or never begins is a life spared from tobacco-related death and disease.

The legislation being considered would double the cigarette tax to about $2 a pack and would ensure other tobacco products, which are often cheaper and therefore more appealing to kids, are taxed at an equal level. In just the first year, the tax is estimated to reduce the number of adults who smoke by more than 1 million.

Considering the significant health benefits of increasing the tobacco tax, I strongly urge Sen. Schumer to make sure this common sense public health measure is passed into law.


Trump should face justice for actions

Trump should be indicted, arrested and tried for numerous felonies as soon as possible.

He engaged in fraudulent business practices such as undervaluing his properties and hiding compensation to high level employees for tax purposes. He attempted to extort the president of Ukraine to bolster his chance to win the 2020 election.

Following the election, he solicited election fraud in Georgia when he asked Secretary of State Rathensberger to “find” 11,780 votes for him, the exact number needed to give him a win. He incited insurrection in a failed coup on Jan. 6.

Trump is still a free man because of justifiable fear that an arrest would result in widespread violence, as the bedlamists who support him will do anything for their leader.

However, this fear does not take into account that that same fanaticism will drive the anti-democratic and racist forces in this country to continue to lie, cheat, falsify records and undermine faith in our elections to worm their way into government from school boards to the Supreme Court.

If they succeed, we will all be at the mercy of angry, irrational, power-hungry racist tyrants.

We should face the immediate consequences of forcing Trump and all of his enablers to face justice rather than waiting for them to destroy the American constitutional system from within.


Candidate info available from LWV

The League of Women Voters (LVW) of Schenectady County invited the candidates running for election in Schenectady County, the City of Schenectady, Niskayuna, Glenville and Rotterdam to answer several questions to provide information for voters.

The replies of over 40 candidates, organized by municipality, can be viewed at
The writer is Candidate Forum coordinator for the League of Women Voters of Schenectady County.


Online letters

Commenters to online letters who fail to follow rules against name-calling, profanity, threats, libel or other inappropriate language will have their comments removed and their commenting privileges withdrawn.

To report inappropriate online comments, email Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


William Marincic

ARSYL D. DE JESUS, M.D. More than 480,000 people die each year from smoking and you wanna tax cigarettes. How about banning cigarettes all together, this government is pushing a vaccine and people are losing their jobs for not getting it, yes 700,000 people have died from Covid that’s less than have died in the last 18 months from cigarettes. What’s the difference, I’ll tell you, it’s the tax money the government is making off cigarettes.

I’m all for banning cigarettes, but given your previous comments, I never thought I’d hear you say the government should decide what I’m allowed to put in my body.

William Marincic

The death rate is almost the same so are we concerned with people dying or is the way they are dying that’s important. A half-million people have been dying each year for decades in the United States, That’s almost 5 million people in the last decade alone so it would seem to me that the government is more concerned about the tax revenue than the number of people suffering and dying, trust me when I tell you that watching someone die from lung cancer is terrible.

And people who smoke can no longer smoke on airplanes, restaurants and other public places since that was causing harm to innocent people. It’s respectful of other’s health, just like wearing a mask or getting the vaccine does.

Doug Hampton

Now that’s comparing apples to apples! Of course cigarettes are awful but there is no way banning cigarettes could ever work. Somebody mentioned prohibition of alcohol….bingo! Marijuana was easily available for many years before being legalized. I am for freedom of choice unless it harms others like jclark already pointed out.

Joseph Vendetti

My mom died of COPD but if we start banning cigarettes whats next alcohol? After that foods like donuts? French fries? We can start banning all things that kill us and cost the health care systems billions of dollars

Personal Responsibility is hard I know

Doug Hampton

Absolutely you should have the freedom to smoke. The compromise was not allowing smoking in selected areas where you are not affecting others like airplanes and restaurants.


So Mr. William Marincic, when someone like ANTHONY J. SANTO is absolutely spot on regarding his assessment of the obvious criminal activity of the evil orange racist devil you worship, what you do is close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears, sing out nana, nana, nana, and shut out your mind to the reality of the situation. Then you have the audacity to say to Mr. Santo; “the TDS is strong in you.”

Please realize you’re backing one of the darkest aspects of American history.


For the freedom loving patriots who are anti vaccine or masks, even with preventive no- smoking measures in place that jclark mentioned this still happens.

Secondhand smoke causes 7,333 annual deaths from lung cancer.1
Secondhand smoke causes 33,951 annual deaths from heart disease.1

You could relate these numbers for our family and friends who feel they have there freedom to ignore the preventive protocols for the rest of us in this pandemic.


Anyone recall Prohibition?? Speakeasies, onset of organized crime, etc. Banning cigarettes would never work. Full disclosure: I quit smoking in 1976, cold Turkey, and haven’t had another since.

KClark makes excellent points, particularly as it relates to masks and being vaccinated.

The other shoe drops. Let there be more of this:
Two Wisconsin mothers whose children had Covid-19 in September have sued their school districts, for “needlessly and recklessly endangering the health and safety” of their children and other students.

Both lawsuits accuse the school districts of creating a “snake pit” for students by not implementing Covid-19 safety measures recommended by health officials, such as indoor masking, at their schools this year.

The suits say the Falls Creek school district and school board and Waukesha school district and school board “are aware that by removing their Covid-19 mitigation measures they are needlessly and recklessly endangering the health and safety of their students”.


Smokers, heavy drinkers, drug abusers, etc. all put a huge burden on every aspect of the health care system and all things connected to it. The financial aspects that ripple down, from increased insurance costs, to Medicare/Medicaid, emergency services, counseling and scores of other related cost are astronomical to all of us. Certainly no easy answers when considering all the reasons for who and why so many of us end up down that hole, PTSD being one.

I’m sure Fred or William will have a one sentence resolution.

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