Savino: After the budget, I’ll quit (smoking)

Diane J. Savino

June 22, 2010

Capitol Confidential

Monday, June 21, 2010 at 11:12 AM

by Jimmy Vielkind in Budget 2010, State Senate

Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island and a regular smoker, says she will quit after this legislative session. The need is more acute, she said, in light of the proposed $1.60 per pack tax on cigarettes she (and other) lawmakers will vote on today.

“I’m quitting. It’s the stupidest thing I ever did, was start smoking again. It’s a waste of money,” she said. “I have my box of patches ready, and as soon as the budget’s passed, I’m done.”

She doesn’t believe all smokers are directly affected in their choices by the price of cigarettes, but that price is a major deterrent to people who might start smoking, or start smoking after quitting once.

“If you’ve ever been a smoker the propensity is always to take the habit up again,” she said. “If a pack of cigarettes is $10, even though today’s kids hae a lot more disposable income, it’s going to make them think twice and that’s good.”

Savino said she started smoking in an undisclosed year, at age 12, when a pack of cigarettes cost 50 cents and you could smoke “everywhere...”

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