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AHA Encourages Support for Tobacco Tax

As the election draws near, we appreciate our volunteers taking the initiative to pen letters to the editor supporting an increase in the tobacco tax in North Dakota. Amy Walters, State Advocacy Committee Chair states, "North Dakota voters would do well to vote yes on Measure 4, making a long overdue tobacco tax increase possible. Then legislators and stakeholders can work together during the upcoming session to address funding needs and oversight, with respect for the voters’ support to do more for our veterans and for compelling health needs in our state." Read the full text of Amy's letter.  

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The American Heart Association urges North Dakota voters to vote yes on initiated Measure 4 and increase the state’s tobacco tax.
Measure 4 is the opportunity for voters to move this issue forward, and in doing so, significantly impact the number of North Dakota youth starting to use nicotine products in our state.
Our support of Measure 4 is based on the long overdue needed change in taxing base and tax levels. The rationale is simple: Higher prices will mean more North Dakota kids won’t become addicted to nicotine. It’s about lives saved. Big Tobacco’s interest and why it has bombarded North Dakota with a $3 million opposition campaign is to replace its dying smokers with new recruits – addicting our youth. That is not the North Dakota way.
Many North Dakota legislators are committed to upholding their campaign pledge of no new taxes. We respect their work to serve their constituents and the state. Unfortunately those pledges were never presented with check-box options -- all taxes, whether good or bad, are lumped together.
North Dakota voters would do well to vote yes on Measure 4, making a long overdue tobacco tax increase possible. Then legislators and stakeholders can work together during the upcoming session to address funding needs and oversight, with respect for the voters’ support to do more for our veterans and for compelling health needs in our state.
- Amy Walters is the American Heart Association state advocacy chair.
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