Smokers Should Pay a Health Tax

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In the period of Obamacare, there is a sound argument that there is a need for greater restrictions on who has access to healthcare on the normal premium’s minimum premium model or through Medicare/Medicaid. The question that has to be asked is if those individuals, which assume a risk through an unhealthy lifestyle, should pay the same premiums as those individuals who live a healthy lifestyle. There is obviously a discussion of degrees in such a debate (i.e. the individual who eats unhealthily in a manner that has limited health impacts is different from the smoker or the obese person). Eating and obesity are a contentious subject when it comes to health care restrictions, because food is a necessity. However, tobacco is not a necessity and is known to be a significant detriment to the individual’s health. Inferentially, the case supporting a health tax for cigarettes, smoking and tobacco is different the debate over the tax for unhealthy eating and obesity. Thus, there should be a health tax in the case of tobacco consumption is necessary, because the individual who smokes is assuming risks that are detrimental to his or her health. The rationale behind this argument is that the assumption of risk, which derives from the law of tort, indicates the individual should not benefit from his or her own acts that result in harm (Noel, 95). Conversely, one could argue that the manufacturers are selling tobacco for smoking, which means the inference of danger that amounts to an assumption of risk is questionable (i.e. the goods are legal, so there should not be a health punishment for smoking) (Dubois, 25). Nevertheless, whether an activity is legal or not, insurance will not cover all activities. For example, extreme sports are not co... ... middle of paper ... ...y?” Issues in Ethics 6.1. 1993.Web. Dubois, Mikael. “Response to Should People with Unhealthy Lifestyles Pay Higher Health Insurance Premiums.” Journal of Primary Prevention. New York: Penguin, 2011 32-27. Print. Noel, Dix. “Defective Products: Abnormal Use, Contributory Negligence and Assumption of Risk” Vanderbilt Law Review. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002. 313-23. Print. Persaud, R “Smokers’ Rights to Health Care.” Journal of Medical Ethics 21, 1995. Print. Schane, RE, Ling, PM, Stanton, A & Glantz, A “Health Effects of Light and Intermittent Smoking: A Review.” Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine.121, 1518-1522, 2010. Print. Warner, KE, Chaloupka, FJ, Cook, PJ, Manning, WG, Newhouse, JP, Novotny, TE, Schelling, TC & Townsend, J “Criteria for Determining an Optimal Cigarette Tax: The Economist’s Perspective” Tobacco Control. 380-386, 1995. Print.
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