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Florida's $1 Cigarette Tax Increase a Big Win for Public Health
Date:5/28/2009

il Rhode Island added $1.00 to its tobacco tax, making their $3.46 tax the highest in the nation. On May 15, Mississippi increased their tobacco tax by 50 cents, more than tripling their tax to 68 cents. Hawaii's tax increase is set to become effective July 1, and will be $2.60, an increase of 60 cents. South Carolina has the lowest tax at seven cents. The current average tax is $1.25 per pack. Once Florida's increase goes into effect, the new average tax will increase to $1.27.

"We applaud Florida for this important public health victory," said Daniel E. Smith, president of ACS CAN. "Raising the cigarette tax is good health policy and a proven way to reduce smoking rates among adults and especially youth. Research has consistently shown that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. We encourage other states to continue this life-saving trend."

Society and ACS CAN leaders also applauded the broad bipartisan support engendered by this critical public health issue. While the leadership in both chambers is to be commended in taking up these measures, the surcharge would not have passed were it not for the tireless advocacy of Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) and Representatives Jim Waldman (D-Coconut Creek) and Juan Zapata (R-Miami), each of whom filed specific legislation to advance this life or death cause.

The American Cancer Society's Florida Division is comprised of staff and nearly 200,000 volunteers throughout the state who are dedicated to saving lives and creating more birthdays by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back against cancer. For more information, visit www.cancer.org.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legisl
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SOURCE American Cancer Society
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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