Arizona Considers Taxing Smokers, Obese

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA)  — Arizona is considering a $50 tax on the obese and smokers in attempt to release strain on the cash-strapped Medicaid program.  The tax would penalize those who do not follow doctors orders.

Fitness and weight-loss expert Dr. Michael Applebaum joined KDKA’s Robert Mangino to discuss the implications of such a tax.

More from Robert Mangino
  • allday724

    so since we already pay 90% tax on cigarettes, now a state wants to charge you another $50 to smoke, or if your overweight. are they going to start taxing people because they are too tall, or short.

  • big john

    tax every vice, that’s the answer. Tax everything. Tax Tax Tax.

    Have any of these smart legislators ever given thought to ways to reduce government size and cost instead ? Wouldn’t that be the thing a smart person would do ? It’s to easy to just add one more tax.

  • bt68

    i love our government tax us some more you mother f

  • AntiSmoker

    This is not “our” government – its Arizona’s. Im all for this. smoking causes UNBELIEVEABLE amounts of health issues and its a strain on all of us to have to pay for their healthcare. Anything that makes it less desirable for people to smoke, all the better. Same with the obese. Im personally overweight right now and trying hard to lose the weight but I still dont feel that any health issues I have as a result of being overweight are the rest of the country (or in this case, the state’s) burden.

    • AnotherNonSmoker

      Since you admitted that you’re overweight, and you think fat people should be taxed. Please don’t let the lack of law stop you. You can look up the commonwealth’s address and begin voluntarily sending the money that you feel is just based on your weight. Remember, if it’s a good cause then no need to wait for the law to force you.

  • Marcia Berner

    I’m just glad they are going after the obese, too! Maybe they can leave the smokers alone for a little while.

  • Smokey

    AntiSmoker – maybe they should tax YOU for NOT smoking. If these states didn’t have the tax money they already get from smokers, YOUR taxes would go up. All the non-smokers are constantly complaining but they fail to understand how much tax money is generated by smokers. You should be thanking us!

    • John

      Agreed! I do not smoke and definitely feel that it’s very unhealthy. But people should look at it from the revenue perspective. There’s a reason why the govt doesn’t outlaw smoking completely. Because it’s a cash cow! So instead they just keep trying to increase the taxes but in reality are hoping that no one quits.

  • Smoking Fatty

    I’m wondering what’s next? Extra tax for old people who are a strain on the system? Born with a heart problem? Oops! Extra taxes for you. Really, this is amazing. I’m a smoker, and I’m already paying an extra $2-3 dollars a day into taxes. I’ve only been smoking for a few years and I’ve already seen amazing jumps in prices, not due to inflation, but due to taxation.

    Are we going to do the reverse, too, and take off tax from the nicotine patch and other stop smoking programs? Are we going to offer free weight-loss programs for the obese? Or is the government rubbing their hands together, offering no solution but taxing you more because it’s YOUR fault, all the while they’re PRAYING you don’t change.

  • Smoking Fatty

    And also, how is this going to work? Is it by BMI, fat content, or just by looking at you, for the obese? And will the tax apply to social smokers, or just to regular smokers? How are they going to prove you’re a smoker? Are they basing it off of doctors reports, which really only encourages you to lie to your doctor? What if you’re a nonsmoker at the time, but start up later? Will you be penalized because the government doesn’t believe that you weren’t smoking at the time? Can people quit now to qualify as a non-smoker, or is this one of those “if you’ve smoked in the last five years, you’re a smoker” type deals?

    • Don't tread on me

      Let us not forget the health hazards of having a low bmi and the strain eating disorders put on the medical field. Between specialized rehabilitation and therapy let alone any medical interventions for malnutrition, pulmonary embolisms, heart problems, etc. Well on a giggling note at least the first lady came out and said her daughter had a high bmi so do they get taxed if it goes nationwide ? Lol this is a joke law.

  • Interested

    How will the gov’t tax fat people? I know that fat leads to heart problems, diabeties, & cancer & medical care for this is expensive. If more people would
    just take control of their lives, then a lot of these costly problems would be avoided & the gov’t wouldn’t have to step in.

  • Mary

    Since they are taxing,taxing,taxing,why stop there?? How many people are killed or have life long injuries because of a drunk driver!!!!! No one,ever consider’s any kind of penalties for drinking?? why not???

  • chevelle64

    yeah dont forget alcohol related health problems better go after them, no condom sex? gotta have a tax for that. this stuff is why we arent a colony of england anymore.

  • Don't tread on me

    Considering Medicaid as defined by is only available to low income families and other eligible people, how about a “get a darn job or second job” tax. Leave the smokers and fattys alone and get to the root of the issue. What happened to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness”? It doesn’t say laziness. Tax them or find a way to get the recipients to work minus the elderly. It’s every Americans right to eat a box of jelly donuts and smoke a pack a day unless it interferes with the welfare bums!

    • Arizona Anorexic

      Im waiting for my tax credit Arizona

      • Karen Carpenter


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