Missoulian mailbag
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Did you know that one-third of cancer deaths are caused by tobacco? As a cancer survivor and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer, I believe we should do everything to reduce the death and suffering from cancer. That’s why I urge Montana lawmakers to consider a $1.50 per pack cigarette tax increase during the upcoming special session.

Every state that’s significantly increased its tobacco tax has seen cigarette pack sales decrease, especially among kids. That means a lot less cancer and other preventable diseases and death.

Regular, significant tobacco tax increases are proven to help people quit and keep our kids from starting. In fact, a $1.50 per pack increase is projected to decrease Montana’s youth smoking rate by 16 percent and help about 7,200 adult smokers quit.

As lawmakers grapple with our state budget deficit, this tax increase would also raise revenue, while decreasing Montana’s health care costs. The annual revenue from this cigarette tax increase is projected at roughly $44 million.

Join me in urging your legislators to support this $1.50 per pack cigarette tax increase. It’s a good solution to raise revenue that also saves lives and reduces cancer.

Leah Zins,

Missoula

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