Missouri Can Rise from the Ashes in November by Increasing Low Tobacco Tax
Voters will have a chance to keep kids from smoking, save lives
Posted by: Editor | Aug 8, 2012
Missouri voters in November can prevent kids from smoking and save lives by approving a ballot initiative to increase the state’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax by 73 cents per pack.
Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has certified the tobacco tax initiative for the November 6 ballot after a successful signature-gathering effort by the Show-Me a Brighter Future Coalition.
This initiative is truly a win-win for Missouri.
By increasing the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, it will raise $283 million a year to help fund Missouri public schools, state universities and programs that help smokers quit and keep kids from starting.
A higher cigarette tax is also one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Missouri can expect a 73-cent cigarette tax increase to:
- Prevent 40,100 kids from becoming smokers
- Spur 33,300 current adult smokers to quit
- Save 22,200 residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths
- Save $1.4 billion in long-term health care costs
Missouri is paying a high price for having the nation’s lowest cigarette tax of just 17 cents per pack, compared to the state average of $1.49 per pack. The state’s adult smoking rate is higher than the national rate. Each year, tobacco use kills 9,500 residents and costs the state $2.1 billion in health care bills.
In November, voters can put Missouri on the road to better health by increasing the tobacco tax.