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Response to Gov. Walker’s Proposal of a $50 Surcharge for State Workers Who Smoke

The issue at stake here is not smoking, it’s individual rights.

Green Bay, WI, March 01, 2013 --( In response to Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to charge state workers who smoke $50 per month, a proposal which the Governor says will generate 2.7 million dollars over two years, Luke Russell, an owner of Titletown Tobacco, a premium cigar lounge and cigar retailer in Green Bay Wisconsin, writes this:

"Governor Walker,

My colleagues and I have supported you in your election and recall election; not only through our voices and votes, but monetarily. We believed that you supported businesses and defended individual rights. Therefore, it is with sorrow, frustration, and confusion that I write this.

I cannot believe this proposal of charging state workers who smoke $50 per month. Is this because smoking is a health risk? Governor Walker, contrary to the guarantee of certain death that the Surgeon General’s warning labels predict, cigar smoking (or cigarette smoking) for that matter do no lead to certain death and lung cancer. According to James P Siepmann, MD smoking does not cause lung cancer, it is one of many risk factors for lung cancer (see his article at In fact, according to Dr Siepmann’s article, a male smoker in the United States has only an 8% lifetime chance of dying from lung cancer.

But the issue at stake here is not smoking, it's individual rights. The last time I checked, smoking is legal, which makes this proposal an affront to individual liberties. If this proposal is passed, I recommend charging the surcharge for the following contra-health related behaviors as well:

· Anyone that drives an automobile more than 50 miles a month
· Anyone that participates in dangerous sports, including, but not limited to: Waterskiing, snow skiing, football, weight lifting, rock climbing, rugby, baseball, basketball, boxing, wrestling, and bowling
· Anyone that drinks on a regular basis
· Anyone that sleeps less than 8 hours per night
· Anyone that regularly travels to dangerous cities like Chicago, Washington DC or Detroit
· Anyone that indulges in fast food
· Anyone that drinks those evil sugary sodas
· Anyone that has not changed the batteries in their smoke detectors in the last 6 months

I could go on and on, but you get the point. Governor Walker, Wisconsin is not a nanny state. Don’t make it one now.

Light up a cigar and relax!


Luke Russell
Owner, Titletown Tobacco"
Contact Information
Titletown Tobacco
Luke Russell

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