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New Poll: 72 Percent of Minnesotans Support Tobacco Tax Increase
Date:3/11/2009

Support is widespread and strong throughout Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey released today by ClearWay Minnesota(SM) found that an overwhelming majority (72 percent) of Minnesotans support increasing state tobacco taxes. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said the primary reason for their support is that higher taxes will encourage smokers to quit and prevent kids from becoming smokers, and 35 percent cited increased smoking-related health care costs as their primary reason. The survey was conducted by Minneapolis research firm Decision Resources, Ltd.

"One of the most striking findings of the survey is that people arrive at their support for an increase in the tobacco tax out of a sense of fairness," said Bill Morris, President of Decision Resources. "They understand both that tobacco use costs Minnesotans far more in medical costs than is recovered through current taxes or insurance premiums on smokers. They also recognize that a tobacco tax is an effective tool to encourage people to quit and to stop young people from starting to smoke."

Seventy-seven percent of Minnesotans say that smoking and other tobacco use have a significant impact on the cost everyone pays for health; more than one-third (34 percent) say the impact is very significant. This belief is backed up by scientific fact. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Minnesotans pay $8.85 in excess medical costs and lost productivity for every pack of cigarettes smoked.

The survey found strong support for increasing tobacco taxes among all leading demographics, including geography, political and ideological affiliation, income, age and gender. For example, 78 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Minnesotans who identify as independents support a tax increase.

Support for an increase in the Minnesota state tax has not
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SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota
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