Tag Archives: tobacco tax

Tobacco Industry Bankrolls Amendment 3 & Proposition A to Deceive Missouri Voters & Keep Cigarettes Cheap

Missouri Public Health Organizations Urge Voters to Reject Both Tobacco Ballot Measures in November

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., October 3, 2016 – Two tobacco measures will appear on the Missouri ballot in November: Amendment 3 and Proposition A. Both ballot initiatives are supported by the tobacco industry in an effort to deceive Missouri voters and prevent an adequate increase of Missouri’s lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax. As a result, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Missouri, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and Tobacco-Free Missouri issue the following statement: “It is unfortunate two tobacco industry-sponsored ballot measures will appear on Missouri’s ballot in November. Voters should be alarmed that those who profit from keeping smokers addicted have hijacked worthwhile causes by forcing Missourians to settle for a paltry increase in the tobacco tax that will not deter smoking. “Small and incremental increases to the tobacco tax will not keep kids from becoming addicted to cigarettes or help adults quit. Tobacco taxes work when the price increase is substantial enough to motivate current smokers to quit and prevent kids from starting. A dime here or there is not sufficient. Tobacco companies are experts at finding ways to absorb small tax increases through adjusted pricing. “All previous efforts to raise Missouri’s tobacco tax by meaningful amounts have been thwarted by those who profit from smoking addiction – both convenience stores and cigarette manufacturers. R.J. Reynolds’ current campaign contributions totaling more than $5 million in support of a tobacco tax proposal are unprecedented. Reynolds, best known for their infamous Joe Camel cartoon, is notorious for its aggressive efforts to lure kids into smoking. Missouri voters shouldn’t let the tobacco industry write policies that ultimately keep our state’s youth hooked on these deadly products. “Tobacco products in Missouri are too cheap, and the health costs are too high. Our state is long overdue for a tobacco tax increase, but it needs to be one that will make a difference and save lives. “When it comes to Amendment 3 and Proposition A, we encourage Missouri voters to question motives and follow the money, which leads directly to the tobacco industry.”

ACS gets behind federal tobacco tax hike

04/05/2013 – John R. Seffrin, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) has released a statement in support of the Obama Administration’s proposed tobacco tax hike.

“ACS CAN applauds President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products in the FY 2014 budget. A significant increase in the tobacco tax could have a dramatic impact on the public health of our nation by preventing disease and premature deaths and reducing health care costs associated with tobacco use.

“Raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective approaches to encouraging people to quit and preventing kids from picking up the deadly habit in the first place. In fact, research has consistently shown that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by 6.5 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. By discouraging tobacco use through increased prices, we can reduce the serious health care costs associated with using these deadly products, which total more than $96 billion a year.

“The current federal tobacco tax is just over $1, last increased by 61 cents in 2009. A 2012 report by the Congressional Budget Office projected that a 50-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax would generate $41 billion over 10 years.

“Tobacco use is the nation’s most preventable cause of death, yet more than 443,000 Americans will die from smoking-related diseases this year. By increasing the tobacco tax, our lawmakers have the ability to change the price of tobacco products and prevent more children from getting addicted.

“A federal tobacco tax increase would complement ongoing tobacco tax campaigns at the local and state level, which are critical to comprehensive tobacco control efforts across the country. ACS CAN will continue to urge state lawmakers to increase tobacco taxes to improve the health of residents in their state.

“ACS CAN commends the president for his efforts to improve public health, and encourages members of Congress to seize the opportunity to increase taxes on all tobacco products. We look forward to working with both the president and Congress to pass a meaningful, lifesaving tobacco tax increase this year.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

Missouri Comes in Last, Again

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.

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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.