On Thursday, Jan. 21, volunteers and staff from the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Campaign for Tobacco Free Florida and the American Lung Association came to Tallahassee to ask Florida’s legislative leaders to make the fight against tobacco a priority. The group met on the steps of Florida’s Historic Capitol, asking the legislature to “Pass the Buck” and support an increase in the cigarette surcharge.
The bill to increase Florida’s cigarette surcharge by $1 (Senate Bill 758 by Senators Clemens and House Bill 335 by Representative Stark) has not been heard yet in committee, but that didn’t stop our volunteers from braving the weather and showing up to support the efforts for our coalition. Increasing the price of cigarettes will reduce tobacco consumption, decrease the state’s health care costs from tobacco-related disease and generate additional funding to invest in our health care system.
The bill has a number of cosponsors, Representatives Hazel Rogers (D – Lauderhill), Daphne Campbell (D – Miami Shores), Reggie Fullwood (D- Jacksonville), Lori Berman (D - Boynton Beach), Jared Moskowitz (D – Coral Springs), José Javier Rodríguez (D – Miami) and Senators Dwight Bullard (D – Cutler Bay), Jeremy Ring (D – Margate) and Chris Smith (D – Fort Lauderdale), so thank you very much for supporting our lifesaving tax initiative.
Thank you to those volunteers and staff who were able to join us! Never doubt that your efforts make a difference. To see more pictures from the day, search #PasstheBuckFL on your favorite social media outlet.