WAVE 3 News Editorial - August 1, 2017: Cigarette Tax

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Most taxes frustrate us to no end. Raising them brings on huge angst. There is one tax increase that makes perfect sense.

Smoking costs Kentucky more than $6 for every pack sold due to health care expenditures and smoking-related issues, but is taxed just 60 cents per pack.

There is ample room for a hefty increase to achieve closer balance between the two – and raise needed revenue.

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More significantly, a large tax increase would save lives – some estimate upwards of 22,000 lives.

Kentucky ranks first in the nation in cigarette consumption, lung cancer deaths and the percent of pregnant women who smoke – more than twice the national average.

Raising cigarette taxes in a big way will induce thousands of people to quit smoking, and thousands more to not start.

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