At least several days a week, a letter to the editor disturbs me to the point of wanting to respond. I seldom follow though on that. However, a letter from Robert Hemingway of North Anson, printed May 3, demands a response.

Hemingway asks, “Who cares if their (smokers’) kids have less for Christmas or birthdays?” if the proposed tax increase on cigarettes is passed.

Is Hemingway saying that anyone would allow their children to have less for Christmas or birthdays so that they could continue to smoke? “Sorry there is nothing under the tree, kids, but daddy had to pick up a carton of smokes and there was no money left after that.”

I am not a proponent of higher taxes to force a certain behavior, but I think that either Hemingway’s question is ludicrous or his priorities are.

Kenneth L. Murray, North Monmouth