Rumors are flying about a possible special session in Helena to discuss our current budget crisis. If and when the special session comes to fruition, there are MANY reasons that a tobacco tax should be part of the discussion.
First and foremost, tobacco taxes save lives by reducing tobacco use and stopping kids from ever starting to smoke. And, a tobacco tax would raise more than $30 million dollars over the next two years.
Tobacco use costs each Montana household about $800 in taxes (paid for tobacco related medical costs). The tax on a pack of cigarettes would need to be around $19 to offset that cost. As of now, the cost is $1.70, and adding a dollar or so seems like a fairly good deal considering the tax burden on those living in Montana.
Ask your local legislator to support an increase in Montana’s tobacco tax. You can find contact information for your district legislators here.