Saving Lives at the Ballot Box

October 25, 2012

photo

North Dakota and Missouri voters on November 6 will have the chance to deliver big wins for health and save lives in their states.

North Dakota voters can approve a statewide ballot initiative, Measure 4, to require smoke-free workplaces and public places, including restaurants and bars.

Missouri voters can prevent kids from smoking and save lives by voting yes on Prop B to increase the state’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax by 73 cents per pack.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, Ballot Measure 4 aims to protect everyone’s right to breathe smoke-free air.  Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and at least 69 that cause cancer.  It’s a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.

By approving Measure 4, North Dakota can join 29 states, Washington, D.C., and more than 670 cities that have enacted strong smoke-free laws that include restaurant and bars.

Many North Dakota cities have already enacted smoke-free laws, including Bismarck, Cavalier, Devils Lake, Fargo, Grand Forks, Linton, Lisbon, Munich, Napoleon, Pembina and West Fargo.  It’s time for the entire state to be smoke-free.

Missouri

In Missouri, Prop B is truly a win-win for the state – a health win that will reduce smoking, especially among kids, and a revenue win that will raise $283 million a year to help fund Missouri schools and programs to reduce tobacco use.

Missouri can expected a 73-cent cigarette tax increase to prevent 40,100 kids from becoming smokers, save 22,200 residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths and save $1.4 billion in long-term health care costs.

The evidence is clear is that increasing the cigarette tax is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking.  Missouri is currently missing out on the benefits because its cigarette tax is just 17 cents per pack, compared to the state average of $1.49 per pack.

North Dakota and Missouri residents should cast their vote wisely and vote yes for a healthier future.