Mississippi Session Update: Week 6

We are at a critical point in the effort to increase the cigarette tax! We have until Wednesday, February 21st to move a bill out of committee. As a result, we are targeting the Senate Finance Committee. Please be on the lookout for an alert for you to call a member of the committee in the next few days.


Key Dates

Wednesday, Feb. 21, Deadline for ORIGINAL FLOOR ACTION on APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills originating in OWN House.

Campaign Updates

State Legislative Campaigns

We MUST work to get one of these bills out of committee by the FEBRUARY 21st deadline


We're working to increase the state cigarette tax by $1.50 with Other Tobacco Products (OTP) parity by 2020. The state’s cigarette tax is currently at 68 cents – ranked 39th.

As you know, the Invest in a Healthier Future coalition has been working for several months on developing resources, meeting with lawmakers and influencers on this issue. Because this is a revenue bill, it will require a 3/5 by the membership, as opposed to a general bill which only requires a simple majority. So, this will be that much more difficult to move through the process. Knowing this, your voice is that much more important.

  • Senate Bill 2230 – Increase cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with revenue going to he general fund.
    SPONSOR: Senator Willie Simmons (Bolivar, Sunflower, Tallahatchie) | Assigned to Senate Finance Committee
  • Senate Bill 2445 – Increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with revenue going to the general fund.
    SPONSOR: Senator Bob Dearing (Adams, Amite, Franklin, Pike) | Assigned to Senate Finance
  • Senate Bill 2701 – Increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with revenue creating the Medicaid Program Tobacco Cessation Fund
    SPONSOR: Senator Brice Wiggins (Jackson County) Senate Medicaid Committee Chair | Assigned to Senate Finance and Senate Medicaid
  • House Bill 1478 – Increase the cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack, a tobacco equity tax on non-settling manufacturers, and a tax rate of 15% on other tobacco products.
    SPONSOR: Representative Jeff Smith (Lowdnes, Monroe) | Assigned to House Ways and Means


House Bill 955 – A bill to abolish certain inactive boards, commissions, councils, committees and authorities. Included in this bill was the Tobacco Control Advisory Council and the EMS Advisory Council. Both of these councils are active councils. It was stated by the bill sponsor, that there was no reporting on file at the Secretary of State’s office. Neither of these councils are required to report to the Secretary of State’s office because they do not promulgate rules. As such, advocates worked to have the language amended to take these out of the bill.
SPONSOR: Representative Robert Foster (DeSoto County) | Assigned to the Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency Committee
02-02-18: Bill was amended on the Floor and passed 118-0


House Bill 1599 - Of the funds appropriated in Section 2, Twenty Million Dollars ($20,000,000.00) shall be derived from the Tobacco Control Program Fund, created in Section 41-113-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, and shall be allocated as follows:

  • University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute: $4,250,000.00
  • Department of Education - Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell – Mary Sprayberry Public School Nurse Program: $3,060,000.00
  • Attorney General's Office - Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit: $680,000.00
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center – A Comprehensive Tobacco Center: $595,000.00
  • Mississippi Health Care Alliance - ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction Program (STEMI): $382,500.00
  • SKOOL ADS Program: $255,000.00
  • Mississippi Qualified Health Center Grant Program: $3,400,000.00
  • Mississippi Health Care Alliance for the Stroke System of Care Plan: $212,500.00
  • Mississippi Health Department Programs: $7,165,000.00

State Regulatory Campaigns

STEMI Facility Designation:

We're working to enact statewide standards for the formal recognition of STEMI facility designations and the development and implementation of transport protocols for STEMI patients in accordance with AHA criteria.

STEMI Registries:

We're working to enact statewide standards for the development and utilization of STEMI registries in accordance with AHA criteria for support. We are working closely with the Mississippi State Department of Health, STEMI Advisory Council and the Mississippi Healthcare Alliance on developing these standards. We are expecting a vote by the Mississippi State Board of Health on most of the guideline at the April Board Meeting.

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