'Tobacco Tax' clears Senate

Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 4:12pm

A decision by the Louisiana Senate to maintain the current tobacco tax is being praised by the American Cancer Society. In a 29 to 8 vote this morning, the Senate elected to continue a 4-cent tobacco tax that was set to rollback in 2012.

“Members of the Senate made the right choice for Louisiana today,” said Andrew Muhl, Government Relations Director of Louisiana. “They chose to protect our youth from the dangers of smoking and not make it easier for kids to buy cigarettes.”

The Senate’s decision maintains the state’s tobacco tax at its current level of 36 cents. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for consideration.

“Despite pressure from Gov. Jindal, members of both the House and Senate listened to the 74 percent of Louisianans who support a tobacco tax,” said Muhl. “It’s now the governor’s turn to do the right thing for our state and not veto this bill.”

Health advocates support maintaining the current tobacco tax because it will keep youth from starting to smoke, reduce health care costs and save lives.

“In addition to the health benefits of keeping the tax at its current level, the state is poised to gain approximately $40 million in state revenue and matching Medicaid dollars,” said Muhl. “This is a good day for Louisiana.”

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