The proposed purchase of Reynolds American by British American Tobacco for 49 billion dollars reminds us that smoking is still a huge business in America.That number pales, though, compared to the 300 billion dollar a year cost of smoking in the U. S., with nearly 170 billion of that in medical care for adults.The effects of secondhand smoke aside, if you want to smoke, that's your right. But when an issue of this financial magnitude affects the economy of the nation, we should have legislation in place to minimize that impact.The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act has begun, and it's the Republicans turn to write a law that will be good for America's financial health.Obamacare has provisions addressing tobacco and smoking, and the new health care act should too.This is a good example of an issue that should not be left totally to the marketplace of producers and consumers.We should act, through our government, to reduce this 300 billion dollar bill that we will all end up paying for in the long run. I'm Dave Thomason, that's my take, what's yours?
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