Your support this past week was so energizing as lawmakers and health advocates worked to pass a proposed $1.50 per pack cigarette tax in Oklahoma. Over the weekend, the Oklahoma legislature burned the midnight oil to find a compromise that includes this lifesaving tax and provides needed funds for our state budget.
Ever wonder where the phrase "burning the midnight oil" came from? Well, as I typed this email I did too, so here is the answer. It literally means to work by the side of a candle. To burn the midnight oil was the English way of saying that someone was working hard through the night because candles were used to provide light at night. While candles weren't burning at the Oklahoma State Capitol, our passion for the health of Oklahomans sure was! Please take a moment and TAKE ACTION HERE for a healthier Oklahoma!
We are advocating for a $1.50 per pack cigarette tax increase because cigarettes cloud Oklahoma’s economy with costly burdens: an estimated $1.62 billion in direct medical costs and $2.1 billion in lost productivity annually. A $1.50-per-pack tax increase would generate more than $183 million in annual state revenue that will improve access to health care in Oklahoma and reduces the state’s budget deficit.
We urge the Legislature and Governor Mary Fallin to empower Oklahomans with a strong cigarette tax increase so that we will not miss the opportunity to save lives and our budget!
Please CLICK HERE to send a message to your legislators showing that you support a $1.50 increase in the cigarette tax and a healthier Oklahoma!
Budget talks still continue so we will keep you updated as things progress!