Smokers face new costs for their habit if referendum succeeds

Get ready pay another buck per pack in taxes, if you're still a Guam smoker. Whether that occurs or not will be the subject of a referendum question during the 2018 election, just proposed by Senator B.J. Cruz, speaker of the Guam legislature.

Noting that tobacco continues to kill more people than alcohol, auto accidents, and illicit drugs combined—Speaker Cruz wants to strengthen local efforts to control the deadly product. His Bill No. 199-34 (COR) proposes to raise the tax on all tobacco products—pending voter approval at the next general election as required by Guam law. In addition to this proposal, Cruz also introduced Resolution No. 267-34 (COR), urging U.S. ratification of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

“When our insurers say it costs fifty times more to treat a smoker than a nonsmoker,