FAQ

THE SYSTEM:

One of the most difficult aspects of quitting smoking is the fact that someone can simply go to the store and buy more tobacco products. Most smokers relapse within the first few weeks of quitting and this is a critical time where they need help.

A registered quitter program is a program in which the laws are changed so that tobacco purchases are tracked based on identification. This is a completely voluntary system. If someone would want to quit smoking they can choose a date after which they are not allowed to buy tobacco based on registering in the system as a quitter.  By law any attempt to purchase would be turned down based on their identification as someone in the quitter system. Given how quickly one can scan IDs nowadays the technology behind this is here.

Because this is a voluntary system there is also an option to leave the system however leaving the system would be delayed for example by one month because that would give some time for them to reconsider as their urges for tobacco pass.  It would make no sense for them to be able to leave the system immediately at the urge of purchasing
tobacco.  The hope would be that once this critical period of a few weeks passes they will decide to remain in the system and successfully stop smoking.

PROOF OF CONCEPT:

We know this system will work because taxation on cigarettes has worked; just not perfectly.  With this new system if someone buys 2 packs of cigarettes per day they can be taxed at a higher rate than just a flat tax per pack meaning that the tax will tap the breaks on those who consume the most cigarettes while making them pay their fair share.  The registered quitter aspect then helps restore smoker's freedom to quit.

THE DETAILS

Details matter, but not as much as your support.   Please take 5 min to contact your local politician and let them know you support the billion human life years project.

https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

WHO BENEFITS?  WHO WOULD SUPPORT THIS TYPE OF LEGISLATION?

SMOKERS, NON-SMOKERS, HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES AND STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS

Health Insurance companies:  Health insurance companies will have reduced smoking cessation costs and will support this legislation as good PR as well as a way to reduce they smoking related expenditures and lower insurance rates for all customers.

Non-smokers:  typically insurance including health, life and other insurances in some ways use the honor system when it comes to
disclosure of smoking when pricing policies.  A registered quitter program would allow them to be automatically registered as quitters 
and thus the whole system is flipped on its head.  Instead of the honor system, non-smokers now have the right to prove that they can't
buy tobacco in exchange for cheaper rates.

Smokers:  70% of smokers want to quit.  This system will help restore their freedom to quit and same them money as well as years of their lives.

Federal and State governments:  State governments save billions since one out of four heavy smoker's die before the age of 65.  The Federal government saves money on treating cardiovascular disease and cancer.

WON'T THIS CAUSE A BLACK MARKET IN TOBACCO?

We've already thought this one out.

It's important that a black market not develop.   That's why there's an option to exit the system.  The whole idea would be that any sales in a secondary market would likely be expensive so with an exit option, someone who chose to continue to smoke would find it cheaper to exit the system and buy through normal channels.

Additionally, because IDs are scanned as part of the process, instead of taxing tobacco per pack, it can be essentially taxed exponentially.  Meaning that if someone goes from one to two packs per day the second pack can be taxed at a higher rate.  Therefore the heavier the smoker, the more of their own fair share that they pay. Also, this would help stop reselling because the more a person buys to resell, the more they have to pay.  

 

Because someone would have already been registered as a quitter, their smoking status would be known and applied to their healthcare rates.  Additionally, since IDs are scanned at the time of purchase, insurance rates can be based on real facts and not voluntary disclosure.  There should be no financial incentive to game the system.  The incentives should be focused on getting people to quit.

WHAT ABOUT PRIVACY

This is a voluntary system. No one participates if they don't want to.  

Most people won't be purchasing tobacco and it is unlikely that the registered quitters, which should hopefully be more than half the smokers, will be purchasing so most people will not have a problem with the system.  Current smokers just had the tobacco age raised to 21 and they are already used to hurdles regarding obtaining tobacco such as only being able to obtain it at certain stores.

This is a completely voluntary system. People choose to participate. The only information conveyed is tobacco status to tobacco retailers and healthcare insurers. Most social media companies have far much more personal data.

HOW CAN THIS BE IMPLEMENTED

Legislation is needed

This can be implemented in stages.  The first would be simply to scan IDs to help determine taxes per person.  At that time a registered quitter program could also be implemented.  There are many options for making this a viable system with the end prize being saving in lives and healthcare expenditures.  

Once system for tobacco is implemented.  After society is used to it a system for Alcohol can be instituted in some respect with the goal of determining who large users are and offering them treatment.