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New Report: Increasing Ohio's Tobacco Tax Would Fund Economic Stimulus Plan and Preserve Highly-Successful Tobacco Prevention Program
Date:4/23/2008

75-cent Per Pack Increase Would Help Raise $390 Million, Save 108,000 Lives

WASHINGTON, April 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ohio leaders should fund a proposed economic stimulus plan by increasing state tobacco taxes instead of raiding tobacco prevention funds, recommends a report released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. In addition to raising revenue, this tobacco tax alternative would reduce smoking, save lives and save money by reducing health care costs, while the proposed raid of tobacco prevention funds would have the opposite effect -- in fact, it would result in 23,200 more Ohioans dying prematurely from smoking and nearly $1 billion more in health care costs, according to the report.

A 75-cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax, combined with a parallel increase in the tax on other tobacco products, would raise $390.8 million in the first year alone. That's enough to replace both the $230 million that Governor Ted Strickland and legislative leaders have proposed taking from the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation to help pay for the economic stimulus plan and to increase annual funding for the Foundation's tobacco prevention programs to the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ($145 million a year, compared to current funding of $44.7 million).

The report, titled "A Win-Win Solution for Ohio's Health and Economy: Raise the Tobacco Tax to Fund Job Creation and Preserve Tobacco Prevention Programs," finds that this tobacco tax plan would also:

-- Prevent nearly 240,000 Ohio kids alive today from becoming smokers

-- Prompt more than 120,000 current adult smokers to quit for good

-- Save more than 108,000 Ohioans from dying prematurely from smoking

-- Produce $4.6 billion in long-term health care savings, including $835

million in the state Medicaid program alone.

"This report shows that Ohio's leaders have presented a false
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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