As a retired medical oncologist from the Medical College of Georgia and University Hospital, I want to support the tobacco user-fees increase proposed by Gov. Sonny Perdue (House Bill 379).
I believe that this may save many more lives than I could during my entire medical career. Kids start smoking around age 13 when they don't have a lot of money, so increasing the cost of cigarettes can discourage some of them from starting to smoke (older people do the actual purchase for them).
As you know, medical oncologists take care of people who have tobacco-related cancers. I have helped these patients as best I could but, getting involved in their lives too late, I have seldom been able to cure them.
In contrast, genuine lifesaving comes from preventing people from getting addicted to cigarettes in the first place. That's why I say that increasing the cost of cigarettes can save far more lives than I ever could in my career.
There are other good reasons to support House Bill 379, but this one means the most to me.
Leonard H. Brubaker, M.D., Augusta
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