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Forum: ACS CAN supports cigarette tax hike

Updated: November 24, 2012 6:24AM



The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network strongly supports Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s recent proposal for a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase in the county.

Smoking remains the leading cause of cancer, which continues to devastate far too many of our families, friends and neighbors. The proposed tax increase will do something much more profound than raise funds for Cook County — it will save lives and improve the health of county residents, particularly by curtailing youth smoking.

If the Cook County cigarette tax increase is approved, smoking will decline by an estimated 7 percent among youth, which will prevent more than 18,000 kids from eventually becoming addicted smokers. And the tax will prompt about 16,000 more adults to quit, saving more than 10,000 county residents from premature smoking-caused death, including cancer.

From our perspective, this measure offers remarkable promise to decrease the number of people suffering and dying from cancer. The Cancer Action Network and its supporters encourage Cook County commissioners to adopt this proposal quickly so the lifesaving outcomes can begin.

Heather Eagleton

Director of public policy and government relations

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Coal-fired power plants needed

Midwest Generation employs hundreds of local residents and local vendors to run and maintain its two electric generating stations in Will County. These employees and businesses depend on Midwest Generation to support their families and communities.

Local governments also depend on Midwest Generation as part of a large tax base that supports education and other vital governmental services.

The Midwest Generation plants in Will County would not be running if they did not meet all the environmental regulations of the federal and state governments. These regulations have gotten tougher in recent years, and Midwest Generation has stepped up to the plate every time, sometimes ahead of schedule, to comply with them. Some of our members have worked on these improvements.

Keeping these plants operating is more than about jobs. It’s about having dependable electricity — something we all take for granted, and most important, something that we need for so many important uses.

People trying to shut down these coal-fired plants are way off base. We cannot rely on “green energy.” If we do, when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, we will not have electricity.

Robert Schwartz

Recording secretary

Will & Grundy County Building Trades Council



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