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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

Show-Me a Brighter Future Coalition

 

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.

 

 

 

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