To the Editor:
I would like to offer my opinion about the Newburyport Health Dept. plan to raise the age that 18 year old citizens can purchase cigarettes. Besides the obvious answers that they are old enough to vote, go off to war and get married, most 18 year old citizens have driver’s licenses and will just drive the ½ mile across the bridge into Salisbury or Amesbury to purchase their cigarettes, leaving our local small businesses a loss of income.
Why bureaucrats, most of who have no private sector experience, continue to make it harder to run a business is a mystery to me. It’s easy for them to issue these rules and regulations but it is the small business owner who has to deal with the fall out.
With the business climate in a fragile state in these tough economic times I think it is ridiculous to add another layer of bureaucracy on a product that is legal. I sure everyone has driven down Route 1 through Seabrook and seen the building boom that is going on there because of a friendly business climate as one of the reasons.
Some of the difficulty of running a business in Massachusetts include high sales tax, high gas tax, high cigarette tax, meals tax, CPA tax, excise tax, the highest unemployment insurance in the nation, the potential ban of plastic grocery bags, the potential increase of the minimum wage which has proven to cost jobs, and now an increase in the age to purchase cigarettes.
We are listed as the 5th worst (nanny) state in the nation to own a business. I predict that if the ban goes thru the next thing on their agenda will be to ban smoking in public parks like the City of Boston just did and then it is on to banning Styrofoam cups and containers like New York City is proposing. Instead of finding creative ways to punish the public how about the state and local governments use that creativity to give the citizens some tax relief, has that ever been discussed? Is that crickets I hear?