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Mississippi Tobacco Tax Increase is a Victory for Kids and Taxpayers
Date:5/13/2009

WASHINGTON, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

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

Mississippi leaders have taken an important step to protect the state's kids and taxpayers from the devastating toll of tobacco by increasing the state cigarette tax for the first time since 1985. The 50-cent increase, to 68 cents per pack, is a win-win-win solution for Mississippi - 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 voters. However, at 68 cents per pack, Mississippi's cigarette tax will still be well below the state average of $1.24 per pack, so Mississippi's leaders can achieve even greater health and financial benefits by further increasing tobacco taxes.

We applaud the legislators who took a stand to protect the health and pocketbooks of Mississippi families and congratulate the many organizations that advocated for the cigarette tax increase for their tireless efforts to improve Mississippians' health.

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. Mississippi can expect a 50-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase to prevent some 16,000 Mississippi kids alive today from becoming smokers, spur 9,700 Mississippi smokers to quit for good, save 7,600 Mississippi residents from smoking-caused deaths, produce $372 million i
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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