The number one killer in America is (drum roll) Obesity.
Obesity (bad diet and no exercise) was the cause of 400,000 deaths.
129.6 million Americans are overweight or obese. That is a staggering 64% of the population.
If obesity continues to rise, by the year 2020, 20% of all health care spending will be on obesity related diseases and conditions. This is according to the Rand Corporation.
Raising taxes on cigarettes, according to the Government is to prevent smoking related diseases. It was a HEALTH prevention measure to increase the taxes on a single pack of cigarettes to $1.01 today.
Fine. Smoking causes certain diseases and they become exasperated by a persons poor health.
However, to be devils advocate; if the Government is so concerned about the public health, then INCREASE taxes on ALCOHOL (all kinds), FAST FOOD and JUNK FOOD (IE: chips, soda, minute microwave meals, etc.
Prevention is key, the experts agree, and Americans know what to do: Eat a healthy diet, keep their weight in check, exercise and don't smoke. But instead, obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise. Roughly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. And the epidemic is spreading to teenagers and children.
But instead of eating healthier diets and getting up off the couch, Americans would rather order a pizza, and remain stagnant.
Who benefits then from this horrible epidemic of obesity? The Pharmaceuticals Companies of course.
People aren't scared enough of heart disease and obesity related diseases like Diabetes. Dr. Robert Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research at Duke University Medical Center says it clearly, "It's sort of accepted as part of the background noise, even though it's far and away the mostly likely reason that you or I will die."
So instead of a healthy diet, supplements, and exercise which WILL lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and make you heart healthy, physicians look for the "new drug" that will take care of those issues. Which means people are still going to McDonalds for that quarter pounder with cheese and fries, or Taco Bell for that nacho supreme.
RAISE THE TAXES on FAST FOOD, JUNK FOOD and ALCOHOL, to make the cigarette tax increase FAIR and BALANCED.
The result? People will buy more groceries, and probably COOK at home more often. Fruits and vegetables will return to family diets, and the Fast Food industry will either overhaul their menu's, or go out of business. Either way it is not a big deal, because FAST FOOD KILLS.