12:45am

Wed April 1, 2009
Top Stories

Anti-smoking Advocates See Tax Increase as Incentive for Many To Kick the Habit

Montgomery, Alabama –
This first day of April is ushering in some higher prices being paid by smokers. The federal government is imposing its largest ever increase in taxes on tobacco products.

Beginning today, the per-pack federal tax on tobacco products jumps from 39 cents to $1.01. Funds generated from the increase will finance a major expansion of health insurance for children nationwide.

Scarlet Thompson, State Communications Director for the American Cancer Society of Alabama, estimates the tax hike will mean 1.4 MILLION smokers will quit the habit. She says the higher prices will keep more than a MILLION children around the country from smoking.

Thompson says that would translate into preventing more than 900 THOUSAND smoking related deaths nationwide.

Thompson says smoking leads to a number of cancers, including lung cancer, which she says is the leading cancer-related killer in Alabama.