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District of Columbia Cigarette Tax Increase Delivers Victory for Kids and Taxpayers
Date:7/31/2009

WASHINGTON, July 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO )

The D.C. Council has taken an important step to protect the District's kids and taxpayers from the devastating toll of tobacco use by increasing the cigarette tax by 50 cents to $2.50 per pack - the seventh highest cigarette tax in the nation. We applaud the City Council for its unanimous support of this life-saving proposal, and we look forward to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signing it into law.

At the same time, the Council missed an opportunity to renew funding for the highly successful DC Tobacco-Free Families tobacco prevention and cessation program. Without action, funding for this program will largely expire at the end of September. To enhance and sustain the benefits from the tax increase, D.C. leaders should act quickly to provide the needed funds.

Higher tobacco taxes are 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 revenue for critical programs, and a political win that polls show is popular with the voters. With the increase, the District of Columbia will join 11 states that have increased their cigarette taxes this year.

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 of Columbia can expect the 50-cent ciga
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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