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Selling out on cigarettes

For the price of a cigarette, the state of Utah is looking at climbing in bed with the tobacco industry. Tobacco companies can now guarantee their survival while they hook innocent youths and the state on 25 years of glittering gold.

It appears the potential tobacco settlement Jan Graham endorses has set a price tag on the value and quality of life for Utah residents. As the attorney general for the State of Utah, it seems Graham is telling us "as long as the state can receive $25 million a year for 25 years ($618 million), let the leading cause of cancer and other respiratory diseases continue." Even if you have never smoked, "secondhand smoke" can have damaging effects on your quality of life.In a state that continues to prosper economically with surpluses in the millions of dollars each year, how can Graham justify this settlement? It seems morally, ethically and professionally irresponsible to support a settlement that will buy tobacco companies 25 more years to damage and kill another generation.

If Graham wants to take tobacco money for current and past health-related issues (i.e., law enforcement against smoking, teenage prevention programs, health costs for smoking related diseases, etc.) then do it without selling out our state by climbing in bed with tobacco money and becoming addicted to it for 25 more years.

Thomas M. Hover

Utah County