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New Report: Increasing Maryland's Cigarette Tax Will Reduce Smoking, Save Lives and Save Money
Date:10/22/2007

$1 Increase Would Also Fund Expanded Health Care Access for Marylanders

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the Maryland Legislature prepares for next week's special session to resolve a state budget shortfall, a report released today finds that Governor Martin O'Malley's proposed $1 cigarette tax increase would dramatically reduce youth smoking, cause many smokers to quit, reduce tobacco-related health care costs and save thousands of lives.

Governor O'Malley has proposed increasing the cigarette tax as part of a plan to balance the budget and fund expanded access to health care for Marylanders.

The 30-page report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids - titled "Tobacco Tax Benefits For Maryland: Reducing Smoking, Saving Lives and Saving Money" - finds that a $1 cigarette tax increase would:

-- Prevent more than 52,000 Maryland kids from becoming smokers

-- Spur more than 28,000 current adult smokers to quit for good

-- Save more than 24,000 Marylanders from premature, smoking-caused

deaths

-- Produce more than $1.1 billion in long-term health care savings

"This report provides powerful evidence that increasing the cigarette tax by $1 will improve both the physical and financial health of Maryland for generations to come," said William V. Corr, Executive Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"In addition to funding expanded access to health care, a higher cigarette tax will significantly reduce smoking, lower smoking-caused health care costs and save lives. A higher cigarette tax to fund health care coverage is a win-win for Maryland," Corr said.

Governor O'Malley's proposal to increase the cigarette tax is part of a larger plan to resolve a projected $1.7 billion budget shortfall. Approximately $85 million of the $220 million in new revenue generated in fiscal 2008 from the cigarette tax, as estimated by Maryland's Department of Legislative Services, would go
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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