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Lawmakers Sign Pledge to Vote for Cigarette Tax Increase

May 30th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

Anti-smoking advocates say more than 200 candidates for the House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate have signed a pledge to vote to increase the state's cigarette tax by $1 from $2 to $3-per pack. Members of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, along with MedChi and Maryland GASP (Group Against Smokers Pollution), asked the candidates for the legislature to sign the pledge.  They believe the higher tax will generate money to restore cuts in anti-smoking programs that have amounted to $15-million over the last 15 years. Vinny DeMarco, president of the Maryland's Citizens' Health Initiative, says with the pledges signed at least 27 senators would vote for a cigarette tax increase, three more than the minimum number of votes needed to pass a bill in the Senate, and at least 79 delegates would vote for the measure, eight more than the minimum number needed to pass a bill in the House. He said the support is bi-partisan and statewide…

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