Did you know that Montana has not raised the state tobacco tax in over a decade?
Our state prides itself on being a place of outdoor beauty and activity but the toll that tobacco takes on Montanans’ health is outrageous. Tobacco use kills 1,600 Montanans a year and costs every household (whether they smoke or not) $791 dollars a year in taxes to cover the cost of smoking.
This legislative session the American Heart Association along with other public health partners are working to pass legislation that would increase the tobacco tax by $1.50. Montana is not a state that takes tax increases lightly, but given the fiscal situation Montana faces and the fact that this tax has not been increased in a decade, it’s time to raise the tobacco tax.
Our bill sponsor Senator Caferro recently penned an op-ed about the importance of this legislation and why she is sponsoring it. Read about it here: http://helenair.com/news/opinion/guest/proposing-tobacco-tax-hike-to-help-elderly-disabled/article_381a623e-16d7-5df8-abd1-a1692ad34acb.html
Tobacco use costs Montana $440 million a year in healthcare related costs. By raising the tobacco tax research has shown that it will deter young adults from starting and incentivize some who already smoke to quit the deadly habit.
We hope as session continues we can count on your support as we work to build a healthier Montana.