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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

choice between creating jobs and fighting the state's leading killer, tobacco use," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "By increasing tobacco taxes, Ohio can fund both the economic stimulus plan and tobacco prevention programs. This is truly a win-win solution for Ohio's economy and Ohio's health."

To view the entire report, please visit http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/pressoffice/ohioreport2008.pdf.

In contrast to the benefits from increasing Ohio's tobacco taxes, the report found significant harm from reducing the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation's programs. Taking the $230 million from the Foundation would result in:

-- 56,700 more Ohio kids alive today becoming smokers

-- 19,400 adult smokers who continue to smoke, rather than quit

-- 23,200 more Ohioans who will die prematurely from smoking

-- $992 million in additional, long-term health care costs, including

$175 million under Medicaid.

The report's projections are based on scientific studies estimating the benefits of increasing tobacco taxes and funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs. Studies have found that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking rates by 6.5 percent, adult smoking rates by 2 percent and total cigarette consumption by 4 percent. Governor Strickland himself has cited tobacco tax increases as an effective way to reduce smoking. Studies have also found a direct correlation between the amounts states spend on tobacco prevention and cessation programs and declines in youth and adult smoking.

The report was released as a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas judge is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on whether the Governor and Legislature have authority to take funds from the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation.

On April 2, Governor
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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