Last week, the Missouri Secretary of State approved the tobacco tax increase initiative for inclusion on the November 2012 ballot by certifying the petition signatures presented in May 2012. The initiative will help address Missouri’s health, smoking and school funding problems through a proposed $.73 tax increase per pack on cigarettes and an increased tax on other tobacco products.
Missouri has the 39th lowest life expectancy in the country with decreased life expectancy due, in part, to smoking. Missouri has the 11th highest smoking rate in the country and the lowest tobacco tax, yet the state does not fund programs to help them quit. 8,600 Missouri kids become daily smokers each year.
This ballot measure would improve health and reduce smoking rates. Increasing the price of tobacco products is a proven way to decrease smoking rates and will generate an additional $283 million annually in new revenue for Missouri schools and to fund smoking prevention programs.