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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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Mullins counts on Thousand again

first_img Press Association So often the bridesmaid behind brilliant stable companion Hurricane Fly in his homeland, the admirable grey has enjoyed some fantastic days across the Channel, winning this Grade One event, officially known as the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil, for the last two years. He was beaten into fourth by the Paul Nicholls-trained Celestial Halo when chasing back-to-back victories in the Prix La Barka at the Paris track last month, but while the Ditcheat runner reopposes, Mullins hopes the less demanding conditions will help his charge bridge the gap. Willie Mullins believes less testing conditions will bring out the best in Thousand Stars as he aims to clinch a French Champion Hurdle hat-trick at Auteuil on Sunday.center_img “I think the longer trip will be a help to him and probably the better ground will suit him better as well. I just don’t think he handled the conditions the last day and as he’s getting older, I think he’s starting to prefer better ground. I’m happy with him going into the race, he seems in good form, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. Thousand Stars leads a three-pronged Mullins attack on the three-mile-one-furlong contest, with Zaidpour and On His Own also in contention. Zaidpour was a good fifth behind Thousand Stars 12 months ago, but was well beaten in the Prix La Barka. Mullins said: “Like Thousand Stars, I don’t think he really handled the conditions the last day. I believe it’s forecast to be a wet day on Sunday, but we’ve had a dry week leading up to it and the ground won’t be as bad as it was for the Prix La Barka. “He seems well, he has run well at Auteuil before and if things go right , hopefully he can pick up some of the good prize-money on offer.” On His Own is a fascinating contender having fallen when a leading fancy for the last two renewals of the Grand National at Aintree. He lines up on the back of a fortunate win over hurdles at Sligo. The champion trainer said: “He’s had a light campaign and I just didn’t want to be throwing him out in the field just yet. He’s only run three times over hurdles in his life, and won twice, so we thought we’d let him travel and see how he matches up against these horses. He probably won’t be up to this level, but we’ll see. “He surprised me when he won in Navan earlier in the year and I’m hoping he might surprise me again.” last_img read more