Missouri tobacco tax to remain nation’s lowest

Missouri voters have rejected a measure that would have dramatically increased the state’s lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax.

Tuesday’s vote for the third time in the last ten years, voters rejected an effort to raise the tax from the current 17 cents per pack. Opponents say increasing the state would lose millions of dollars in tax revenue from people who cross state lines to buy cheaper smokes.

Proponents say the tax would bring in $ 283 million to $ 423 million in new revenue, which would be used for higher education, K-12 schools and programs for smoking cessation. Among the biggest supporters of this measure, the American Cancer Society, which also contributed to the tax as a deterrent to young people who would be less likely to buy more expensive cigarettes?

Statement Misty Snodgrass, Show-Me bright future and Legislative Representative / Director of Government Affairs for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network:

“This is a sad day for the state of Missouri. Respecting the will of the voters, we do not respect the last desperate scare tactics tobacco companies use to confuse voters and thus preserve their profits from selling deadly, addictive product.

“Missouri is still the country with the lowest tobacco tax in the country. Missouri taxpayers will continue to subsidize the tobacco industry for $ 2.13 billion in annual costs related to tobacco use in Missouri. Poor health outcomes and high levels of smoking youth price we all pay for the dishonest campaign by tobacco companies.

“We appreciate the efforts of the volunteers, businesses and families in the state of Missouri, who supported the Proposition B, informing voters and countering unfair campaign tactics tobacco companies. We also want to recognize the investment made by organizations involved in the creation of a better future for Missouri, including the American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and Campaign for Tobacco Free child health fund Greater Kansas City, Missouri Association of School Administrators, Missouri School Board Association, including cameras. Commerce and business organizations, and a broad coalition of health and education organizations throughout Missouri Unfortunately, all that the vote showed that gross dividend policy - directly into the pockets of tobacco companies.

“Meanwhile, our coalition will continue to support health and education in the state of Missouri, and are hopeful that those elected to represent Missourians will find a way forward to fully funding our schools, holding Tobacco Companies liable for the damage their products, reduce smoking among children and increase efforts to help those who want to quit smoking. Proposal B would do all these things, but now it will be up to our state legislators to find alternative ways to address these unmet needs in Missouri. “

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