Letters to the Editor

Sanford's veto doesn't help smokers

Are you kidding me, Gov. Mark Sanford? What are you thinking? Is your head still in South America?

I am irate that you would go ahead and veto the cigarette tax bill. You are sticking another nail in the coffin of smokers here in the state of South Carolina. I have been a smoker and know firsthand what this disease - and yes, it is an addiction and a disease - can do to people. I have been to the funerals of too many people who died from lung cancer that was a direct result of cigarette smoking, and trust me, I still miss those people every day. Whole families are left devastated when they have had to witness the suffering of a beloved family member going through chemo or crying out in pain while they sit by, helpless, because there is nothing they can do to help them. You should be ashamed of yourself.

At least maybe if the tax was higher, then some individuals would be forced to quit and get their bodies healthy, and maybe if they take the money that they have been spending on cigarettes for years and put it in a jar to use for a great family vacation or to pay bills that they need to clear up or just have plain old fun with that money, their lives would be richer for it.

There are a lot of smokers out there who have been trying to quit for years, and you had the opportunity to help them right at your fingertips and you blew it. You just don't care. I for one can't wait for you to get out of office. Maybe that will give us here in South Carolina the chance to get things right here in our beautiful state.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.