Tobacco kills. I witnessed the deadly impact of smoking while undergoing chemotherapy treatment for a genetic form of breast cancer. I made friends with people who were receiving similar treatments at the same time for cancers caused by tobacco-related diseases. Too many Montanans have similar stories. Too many have lost their lives.
Each year, 1,600 Montanans die from smoking. It is the number-one cause of preventable death, and the culprit of several debilitating illnesses. In November, voters will have the chance to raise the state tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products by supporting Initiative I-185. Doing so will prevent 4,800 premature deaths, and keep 8,000 Montana kids from becoming adult smokers.
Leading health organizations in our state support I-185. I hope our community joins them.
— Ryndee Hamilton, pharmacist and breast cancer survisor, Polson