For Immediate Release
11/7/2012-Defeated by a narrow margin, the failure to pass Proposition B secured Missouri’s position as dead last in tobacco control. The initiative would have raised our lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax from its current 17 cents to 90 cents. Even with the proposed increase, Missouri would still trail 32 other states with higher taxes. The national average is $1.49. At the polls, the measure failed by 49.2 percent to 50.8 percent.
“This truly is a disappointment,” remarked Traci Kennedy, Director of Tobacco Free Missouri, “I refuse to believe that Missourians would prefer to protect the interests of Big Tobacco and the bottom line of convenience stores over the interest of our children.”
Tobacco Free Missouri collaborated with Show Me a Brighter Future and supporting partners the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association and many other health and education organizations to move the initiative forward.
“Tobacco Free Missouri and its partnering organizations will continue to push forward to eliminate the burden of tobacco use in our state,” states Kennedy. Despite the failure of this measure, twenty-one communities in Missouri have implemented comprehensive clean indoor air ordinances with several other coalitions forming to tackle the topic across the state.
Kennedy encourages advocates to continue their work and focus on the health and well-being of all Missourians. “Despite the legislature’s inability to take on Big Tobacco, advocates across the state continue their work at the grassroots level and the results are impressive.”
Tobacco Free Missouri wishes to thank all of the committed volunteers that worked to educate voters about the importance of Proposition B. Despite this setback, the statewide coalition will continue to move forward looking toward the 2013 legislative session and expanding momentum at the local level.
ABOUT TOBACCO FREE MISSOURI: The mission of Tobacco Free Missouri is to eliminate the health and economic burdens of tobacco in Missouri. Since 2007, Tobacco Free Missouri has worked with its partners to reduce tobacco use and eliminate secondhand smoke exposure for all Missourians through education and policy change. For more information, please visit www.tobaccofreemo.org.