Initiative 185, the citizens’ initiative to protect the health of minors by increasing the cigarette tax, makes sense.
A high cigarette tax is the No. 1 deterrent to stopping kids from smoking. Preventing young people from using tobacco before age 21 helps their brains avoid tobacco-product addiction. It’s long been proven that people who begin smoking at an early age are more likely to develop a severe addiction.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in Montana and the nation. Increasing the price of tobacco products and finally taxing e-cigarettes will prevent more young people from starting to smoke. It will also lower healthcare costs for Montana in the long term.
Do not believe the smokescreen of ads paid for by Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds. They have so far spent $7 million in attack ads because they know they will reap huge profits if Montana’s youth start smoking today and are addicted for years.
I-185 will make cigarettes and e-cigarettes less accessible to high-school and middle-school students. Deterring youth from starting a bad habit with lifelong health and financial consequences will benefit of all Montanans. Let’s pass I-185.