By Holly Whitman
If it seems like taxes have been around since the beginning of time, you are almost right, although some are not quite as obvious as others. For example, since the federal tax on cigarettes is added into the retail price, you may sometimes forget that cigarette manufactures pass the cost on to the buyer. Unless, that is, you live in one of the states that adds an additional tax.
As of August 1, New York added the highest state tax at $4.35 a pack, followed by Connecticut with $3.90. If that just made you swear off smoking, you wouldn’t be alone. With an increase both in taxes on cigarettes and places where smoking is prohibited, the number of actual smokers is decreasing.
Once the medical industry saw how raising taxes on cigarettes improved the statistics on non-smokers, they began to look at another leading health issue in the country: obesity.
Suggestions for how to improve America’s waistlines focused on what made a difference to smokers: selective banning, labeling, advertising — or lack thereof — and the big one: taxes.
While the fast food industry has made some changes in their menus to include healthier options, they often trade off the benefits by highly promoting less healthy items.
As more cities on both sides of the country, especially large ones like New York City, begin to look into adding a sugar tax, the soda industry realized they could wind up on the losing end and filed a lawsuit against Philadelphia on the grounds that the tax violated state and federal law.
It didn’t take long for attention to then be drawn to the manufacture of aluminum cans and what could be done to reduce their impact on the environment. There is a great deal of space devoted to un-recycled aluminum cans in land fills, energy spent on recycling and the manufacturing of new cans.
It is estimated that the known amounts of bauxite will last roughly another one hundred years. However, currently undiscovered sources of bauxite could extend that by more than two hundred years.
Any reduction in the manufacture of, recycling costs of or use of land fills for aluminum cans will have a positive impact on the environment. With a decreased demand for aluminum to manufacture soda cans, there will be a substantial decrease in the negative aspects of mining for bauxite. Companies will not need to reseed and restore vegetation to areas that have been mined, which is beneficial to wildlife in the areas that might have been displaced by the mining.
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