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Health Groups Launch Ad Campaign Supporting 70-Cent Increase in Kentucky Cigarette Tax
Date:2/26/2008

Plan Would Reduce Smoking, Help Balance Budget and Fund Health Needs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A coalition of public health organizations has launched a newspaper and radio advertising campaign in support of House Bill 443, which would increase Kentucky's cigarette tax by 70 cents per pack, reduce smoking and generate more than $200 million in new revenue to help balance the budget and fund vital health care programs.

Health advocates are urging Kentucky lawmakers to support House Bill 443, sponsored by Representative David Watkins. Increasing the cigarette tax is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among children. Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have increased cigarette taxes since January 1, 2002, some more than once, bringing the average state cigarette tax to $1.112 a pack. Kentucky's current cigarette tax is only 30 cents per pack, ranking it 47th lowest in the nation.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Kentucky can expect a 70-cent increase in the state cigarette tax to:

* Generate more than $200 million in new revenue to help balance the budget and fund tobacco prevention, cancer control and other vital health programs.

* Prevent more than 57,000 Kentucky kids from becoming smokers.

* Produce more than $1.3 billion in long-term health care savings.

* Save more than 27,800 Kentucky residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths.

* Spur more than 36,000 current adult smokers to quit for good.

The ad campaign is sponsored by the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association of Kentucky, American Heart Association, Kentucky Youth Advocates and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. To view and listen to the ads, go to

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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