Bump It Up a Buck to Save Lives

March 12, 2012

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With just nine days to go before Kick Butts Day, youth around the country are organizing high-impact events that highlight the dangers of tobacco use and show public officials how important it is to support policies that reduce tobacco use and saves lives.  The fight against tobacco is as urgent as ever following a new U.S. Surgeon General’s report that found youth tobacco use is still a “pediatric epidemic.”

At the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, teens and health advocates will hold a rally to speak out about tobacco’s terrible toll on the state and the benefits of increasing the cigarette tax by $1.  The “Bump it Up A Buck” Coalition is telling lawmakers the measure would reduce smoking, improve the health of all Georgians and generate more than $340 million in new revenue each year.

Georgia currently has the 48th lowest cigarette tax in the nation at only 37 cents per pack. The national average is $1.46. Raising cigarette taxes is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among youth.

The Surgeon General’s report, released last week, says that two young people become regular smokers for each of the more than 400,000 Americans who die every year from tobacco use. The report cites higher taxes as a proven policy that can help curb youth tobacco use.

The Surgeon General’s report also found that the tobacco industry spends more than a million dollars an hour to promote its deadly products, and this marketing causes kids to start and continue smoking.

How will you fight back? 

Register your Kick Butts Day event and make your voice heard on March 21!