0

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

0

Shelvey edges Swans past Saints

first_img Things could have been so different had Lukasz Fabianski not reacted quickly to deny James Ward-Prowse a first ever league goal in the opening 10 minutes – the hosts’ best chance of a one-sided first half. Swansea had to defend impressively to keep Saints at bay but were coming close on their rare forays forward, with Bafetimbi Gomis hitting a half-volley just wide and Shelvey hitting the post. They were warning shots Southampton failed to heed as Shelvey made space to fire home from distance in a frantic end to the match, with Ryan Bertrand sent off for a nasty challenge on Modou Barrow after Ashley Williams made two goal-line clearances in quick succession to deny Sadio Mane. The Swansea captain was one of six changes Monk made after last weekend’s FA Cup exit to Blackburn, although Jack Cork, signed on Friday from Saints, was not registered in time to feature. The midfielder instead watched from the stands at St Mary’s, where his former club went close to a seventh-minute opener. The ever-impressive Nathaniel Clyne sent in a low cross which Ward-Prowse looked to have turned in until an excellent, instinctive save from Swansea goalkeeper Fabianski. Saints were bossing possession and threatening an early goal, which, rather surprisingly, almost came at the other end when Shelvey flicked into the path of Gomis, whose left-footed half-volley flew just wide. Swansea were struggling to get the ball off Saints, though, and were hit by an early injury to Marvin Emnes, leading to Barrow’s introduction after 15 minutes. Jonjo Shelvey’s fine, late strike secured Swansea a first Barclays Premier League win of 2015 as Southampton were punished for failing to turn their dominance into goals. Ronald Koeman’s men had the better of possession and peppered the visitors’ goal throughout, but it was Garry Monk’s side who emerged victorious. Shelvey capitalised on Saints’ futility in front of goal, firing home from distance with seven minutes remaining as Swansea triumphed 1-0 – their first league win since Boxing Day. A Gomis effort from an offside position shortly after was all the Swans could muster for the remainder of the first half as Saints pushed for a deserved opener. Harrison Reed and Bertrand had admittedly poor efforts, before Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic were squeezed out under pressure. Swansea were having to defend manfully as low crosses were drilled in, with Williams having to turn behind his own goal as Tadic all too easily shook off Jay Fulton. Eljero Elia, impressing on the left flank, had an effort blocked and continued to cause havoc with his crossing, but the scoreline was goalless at the break. Play continued the same way after the interval, with Saints on the front foot without creating clear-cut opportunities. There were now, though, a few glimpses of life from the visitors. Fraser Forster was fortunate that Neil Taylor did not take advantage of a hashed clearance shortly, before Shelvey was allowed time to run through and send a low, fizzing strike which hit the post. Ward-Prowse had a header and low drive saved when Saints returned to the attack, while substitute Mane saw a dangerous cross saved after Jose Fonte was blocked. An Elia cross agonisingly bobbled along the six-yard box without being converted as Saints pushed for a breakthrough which would eventually come from the visitors. Shelvey showed good composure to get the ball out of his feet and lash home a fizzing strike from 25 yards in front of the visiting fans. It was a sucker-punch Saints tried to recover from, only for skipper Williams to produce two goal-line clearances in quick succession to prevent Mane levelling. Pelle smashed over in stoppage time – epitomising the frustration which boiled over when Bertrand was sent off for hacking down Barrow, which saw the substitute leave the field on a stretcher. Press Associationlast_img read more