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New Report: $1 cigarette tax increase would raise $6.7 million for Vermont and cut youth smoking

first_imgRaising Vermont’s cigarette tax by $1 per pack would bring in $6.7 million in new annual revenue to help close the state’s budget shortfall, while also reducing smoking and saving lives, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.The report comes as states grapple with unprecedented budget shortfalls and face devastating cuts to education, health care and other essential public services. The report details the revenue and health benefits to each state of a $1 cigarette tax increase.In Vermont, a $1 cigarette tax increase would also:Prevent 3,600 kids from becoming smokers;Spur 1,900 current adult smokers to quit;Save 1,600 residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths; andSave $81.1 million in health care costs.A nationwide poll released along with the report found that 67 percent of voters support a $1 tobacco tax increase, with backing from large majorities of Republicans (68 percent), Democrats (70 percent) and Independents (64 percent).  The poll found that voters far prefer raising the state tobacco tax to other options for addressing state budget deficits. While 60 percent favored increasing the tobacco tax for this purpose, more than 70 percent opposed every other option presented, including higher state income, gasoline and sales taxes and cuts to education, health care, transportation and law enforcement programs.”This report shows that raising tobacco taxes is truly a win-win-win for Vermont. It is a budget win that will help protect vital programs like health care and education, a health win that will prevent kids from smoking and save lives, and a political win with the voters,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.The report was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It is titled Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win-Win for Cash-Strapped States.Currently, Vermont’s cigarette tax is $2.24 per pack, which ranks 9th in the nation. The national average is $1.34 per pack.  The scientific evidence is clear that increasing cigarette prices is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. States will achieve even greater revenue and health gains if they also increase tax rates on other tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco and cigars, and if they dedicate a portion of their new tobacco tax revenue to fund programs that prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit.Opposition to raising the cigarette tax further typically has come from Vermont retailers, who fear they would lose more business to New Hampshire, where the tax is already lower ($1.78, rank 16th). On the other hand, retailers have been concerned they would lose the advantage on its other borders, particularly losing consumers from New York, where the tax is $2.75 (rank 3rd), or more than 50 cents a pack higher, and consumers from Quebec, where the total cost of cigarettes is also higher than in Vermont.Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. In Vermont, tobacco use claims 800 lives and costs the state $233 million in health care bills each year.  Currently, 18.2 percent of the state’s high school students smoke, and 2,700 kids try cigarettes for the first time each year.The national survey of 847 registered voters was conducted from January 20-24, 2010, by International Communications Research and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.  More information, including the full report, state-specific information and detailed poll results, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org/winwinwin(link is external).SOURCE: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —last_img read more

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None more unbeatable than Djokovic at his best, says Martin

first_imgThere is no one more unbeatable in men’s tennis than Novak Djokovic, when at his best, former world number four American Todd Martin has said.Reigning world number one Djokovic has already established himself as one of the best ever to play the game and the Serb’s Grand Slam haul of 17 is just three behind the 20 that Roger Federer has amassed. The Swiss player will be 39 in August.While Federer is nearing the end of a glittering career, Spanish left-hander Rafa Nadal is just one behind with 19 majors and will be 34 next month.Djokovic, a Serbian, is the youngest of the so-called “Big Three” and will be 33 later in May.The triumvirate have shared the last 13 Grand Slam titles, re-energising the GOAT (greatest of all time) debate.“Roger is the most aesthetically pleasing I have ever seen,” Martin, who was part of Djokovic’s coaching team briefly in 2009 and 2010, told Tennis365. “He is pleasing with the serve, he is pleasing with the return, offence, defence … everything he does really looks beautiful.“For me though, if Novak is right, if Novak is confident and comfortable with his physical status and is really focused, I’ve never seen anybody more unbeatable.“This guy has played the game better than anyone else ever has, in my opinion.”Djokovic was in imperious form before the novel coronavirus pandemic brought the circuit to a halt in early March.He lifted the ATP Cup with Serbia, won an eighth Australian Open title and then completed a fifth triumph at the Dubai Tennis Championships, extending his unbeaten run to 21. “His athleticism is from another world,” said Martin, who reached two Grand Slam finals.“His return of serve is way better than any other returner of serve ever and I mean way better.“Having worked with him, when he is focused he has that ‘I’m going through a brick wall mentality’.“Now he is not always focused, but when he is and we have seen this for long stretches, he doesn’t have to play great. He is that much of a fighter and thrives on it.”RelatedPosts Djokovic clinches fifth Italian Open title Djokovic zooms to 10th Italian Open final Djokovic fined $10,000 for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ The virus forced the cancellation of this year’s Wimbledon for the first time since World War Two, while the French Open was pushed back from its May start to September, shortly after the scheduled end of the US Open.Federer, who is currently ranked fourth, last played at the semi-finals of the Australian Open, where he lost to Djokovic, before undergoing keyhole surgery on his knee in February.Martin said Federer was a “natural” and he still expected the Swiss to challenge for Grand Slam titles when the season is able to restart.“With the Olympics being postponed, I would imagine it will compel him to play another year,” Martin said.“Plus, this is no way to end anything. It is really important to Roger, I would imagine, to conclude his career on a bona fide high note.“Nothing I’ve seen indicates that physically he is incapable of keeping going.“Nothing I’ve seen has indicated his love for the sport has waned, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see several more years out of him.”Reuters/NAN.Tags: ‘Unbeatable’Novak DjokovicRafael NadalRoger FedererTennisTodd Martinlast_img read more