Rhode Island lawmakers recently considered testimony on whether or not to raise Rhode Island’s cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack and dedicate a portion of the new revenue to tobacco prevention and cessation services in our state (which have been slashed dramatically in recent years and remain terribly underfunded). The American Heart Association testified in favor of this important proposal, along with partner organizations the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Lung Association and dozens of local community groups from the Tobacco Free Rhode Island coalition.
We need to make a lot of grassroots noise over the coming weeks to let all members of the General Assembly know that we want a higher tobacco tax to help save lives by preventing youth smoking and helping current smokers quit. Add your voice to the chorus of support - click the following link to contact your representative and the House Leadership today: http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=34796
This proposal is a win-win-win for the people of Rhode Island:
- Win #1: According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a $1.00 cigarette tax increase will motivate 3,300 Rhode Islanders to quit smoking for good and will stop 2,300 kids from ever becoming addicted to cigarettes.
- Win #2: A $1.00 increase will generate an estimated $17 million in new revenue for the state of Rhode Island.
- Win #3: New revenues will be directed to public health – with a portion going toward tobacco prevention and cessation services for Rhode Islanders.