Tuesday, March 22, 2011
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
Georgia’s leaders are grappling with difficult budget decisions, but this year they have a unique opportunity to save lives while also generating substantial new revenue.
By bumping up the per pack tax on cigarettes by $1, state leaders can help prevent 79,600 kids in Georgia from becoming addicted adult smokers. Leaders will have a chance to change things so reading that each year 10,500 people in our state suffer premature, smoking-caused deaths will be a thing of the past.
What makes the idea even more important is that a bump of $1 will generate an estimated $350 million per year in revenue at a time when the state is spending $537 million of its Medicaid budget on health care for people suffering from smoking-caused illnesses.
A statewide voter poll says that more than 70 percent of all Georgians are in favor of the $1 increase. It’s time to make Georgia’s cigarette tax right and bump it up a buck.
— Eric L. Bailey
Georgia grassroots manager, American Cancer Society South Atlantic Division
Government relations director, American Heart Association, Greater Southeast Affiliate
State director, American Lung Association in Georgia