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Health Groups Launch Ad Campaign Supporting 93-Cent Increase in SC Cigarette Tax
Date:3/17/2008

ccofreekids.org/campaign/southcarolina2008/. The print ad campaign is sponsored by the American Heart Association.

The South Carolina Senate will soon consider H.3567 which increases the cigarette tax by 45 cents and dedicates $5 million to tobacco prevention. Health advocates say that a 45-cent increase is the absolute minimum that should be considered, and urge legislators to pass an even higher increase.

"By increasing the cigarette tax to fund tobacco prevention and other vital health initiatives, South Carolina will achieve significant health and economic benefits that our residents need and deserve," said Renee Martin, Executive Director of the South Carolina Tobacco Collaborative. "We urge our leaders to support this worthwhile legislation, which will prevent kids from smoking, improve health in our state and save taxpayers money by reducing smoking-caused health care costs."

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. In South Carolina, tobacco claims more than 5,900 lives each year and costs the state $1.09 billion annually in health care bills, including $393 million in Medicaid payments alone. Currently, 22.3 percent of South Carolina adults smoke. Government expenditures related to tobacco amount to a hidden tax of $578 every year on every South Carolina household. Just over 19 percent of South Carolina high school students smoke, and 7,300 more kids become smokers every year.


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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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