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Health Care Advocates Pushing for $1 Increase to Tobacco Tax

April 11th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

Maryland smokers may be coughing up more money for a pack of cigarettes. Today, health care advocates and community leaders sent letters to every candidate in the General Assembly to endorse a a $1 increase of tobacco taxes, bringing the tax to $3-a-pack. The letters described a media and grassroots campaign, including pictures of print ads, to rally Marylanders around the initiative. Members of Maryland Health Care for All and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids held a news conference in Annapolis asking incumbent lawmakers and challengers running for the Maryland General Assembly to sign a pledge, promising they'll vote for a $1 increase in the state's cigarette tax if elected. The tax was last increased in the special legislative session of 2007. It currently stands at $2-per pack of cigarettes. Amy Barkley, regional advocacy director for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, told WBAL News that increasing the tobacco tax has encouraged people to quit smoking and has provided millions to the state, which has used some of the money to expand Medicaid…                                                               


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