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DC Council Delivers Victory for Kids and Taxpayers by Doubling the Cigarette Tax to $2 per Pack
Date:5/14/2008

Statement of William V. Corr, Executive Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The District of Columbia Council has taken a critical step to protect kids and taxpayers from the devastating toll of tobacco use by doubling the District's cigarette tax to $2 per pack. We applaud the Council for approving this life-saving measure and urge members to also increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The $1 cigarette tax increase is a win-win-win solution for the District of Columbia -- a health win that will reduce tobacco use and save lives, a financial win that will raise much-needed revenue and reduce tobacco-caused health care costs, and a political win that is popular with the voters.

The evidence is clear that increasing the cigarette tax is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. The District can expect the $1 cigarette tax increase to prevent some 4,100 DC kids alive today from smoking; spur 3,100 DC smokers to quit for good: save 2,100 DC residents from smoking-caused deaths; produce more than $100 million in long-term health care savings; and raise about $11.7 million a year in new revenue.

DC leaders have proven once again that they know what it takes to win the fight against tobacco use -- with the implementation last year of a comprehensive smoke-free workplace law and this week's doubling of the cigarette tax. The next step is for DC to increase funding for programs to prevent kids from starting to smoke and help smokers quit. The CDC recommends that DC spend $10.5 million a year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, but DC currently spends just $3.6 million. The District should increas
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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