Our view: Tax increase on tobacco just adds up
How does Kentucky overcome a challenge that seems insurmountable? How can we eliminate a cultural touchstone that seems so ingrained into who we are as a state that some feel it is impossible to remove?
Simple. We take a stand and implement strong measures that are essentially proven to save lives.
That is exactly what has been proposed by a coalition of more than 100 health care, business, education and advocacy groups that make up the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow.
The group has called on the Kentucky legislature to raise the state tax on cigarettes by $1 per pack.
The organization believes “this $1 increase would keep 23,200 of today’s youth from becoming adult smokers, and prevent 5,900 infants from being born too early due to smoking during pregnancy. Another 29,400 current adult smokers would quit.”
Something clearly has to change. Almost 9,000 Kentuckians die every year of smoking-related illness. That’s more than opioid or prescription drug overdoses, something everyone considers and epidemic.
So why would we accept these tobacco-related deaths?