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Overwhelming Majority of Virginia Voters Favor Increasing the Cigarette Tax to the National Average
Date:2/2/2009

New Poll Shows Strong Support for Cigarette Tax To Reduce Youth Smoking and Address the State's Healthcare Needs

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new poll released today by a coalition of Virginia health leaders shows that 72 percent of Virginia voters support an 89-cent increase in the state tax on cigarettes. The coalition is calling on legislators to increase Virginia's 30-cent per pack cigarette tax - still one of the lowest in the nation - to the national average of $1.19 a pack to reduce smoking among kids and generate revenue to help solve the budget crisis.

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By more than a two-to-one margin (72 percent to 26 percent), Virginia voters favor an 89-cent per pack increase in the state's cigarette tax to fund tobacco prevention and address health care needs. Support for the increase crosses party lines, garnering the support of 71 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of Democrats, and 67 percent of independents. Support is also strong across Virginia, with a majority of voters in Norfolk (75 percent), Northern Virginia (75 percent), Richmond (70 percent) and Roanoke and the rest of the state (68 percent) favoring the 89-cent increase in the cigarette tax.

In addition, the poll found that there is virtually no difference in support between an 89-cent and a 30-cent increase which has been proposed by Governor Tim Kaine.

Support for both the 89-cent and 30-cent tax increases is broad-based, and cuts across party, regional and ideological lines. Danny McGoldrick, Vice President for Research at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, noted, "From a political standpoint, it's clearly 'in for a penny; in for a pound.' This is because opposition to the cigarette tax is low and essentially identical at the two levels, w
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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