As a retired ICU physician, I know the end-stage consequences of tobacco use: heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, dementia, COPD, emphysema, and cancers – not just lung cancer, but also throat, stomach, pancreatic, colon, liver, kidney, and bladder cancers, to name a few.
It was difficult to repeatedly see these horrible diseases, and their devastating consequences on patients and their families.
Initiative 185 will place higher taxes on tobacco and vaping products. Hopefully, this will discourage their use.
In addition, the revenue generated will be directed to multiple health services including tobacco use prevention and cessation programs, expanded services to veterans such as suicide prevention and nursing home care, need-based prescription medication assistance, long-term care allowing seniors and the disabled to remain in their homes, and prevention of cuts to the current Medicaid program. All of the above will save lives and improve the quality of life for Montanans.
I urge you to vote YES on I-185.