Allery Treatment News

Health Groups Renew Effort To Raise Wisconsin Cigarette Tax To Fund Health Care

May 13, 2017

A coalition of more than two dozen groups, most of which are health care organizations, in Wisconsin are renewing efforts to pass a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase to fund anti-smoking campaigns and health care, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Last year, a similar cigarette tax increase measure failed to receive support from Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) or lawmakers on the Joint Finance Committee. According the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, increasing the cigarette tax from 77 cents per pack to $1.77 per pack could generate an additional $227.5 million annually in revenue and reduce the number of cigarette packs sold in the state by 90.8 million. Polls have shown that more than 75% of Wisconsin residents support a cigarette tax increase to pay for health care and smoking-cessation programs, according to the Journal Sentinel. In November, Doyle said he would not consider a tax increase unless the revenue would be used exclusively to help the state pay costs associated with smoking-related illnesses, tobacco prevention efforts and to help smokers quit. Matt Canter, a spokesperson for Doyle, said the governor has not yet reviewed a proposal that is solely for tobacco prevention purposes. State Rep. J.A. Hines (R), who last session introduced legislation that would increase the cigarette tax, said he intends to propose a similar bill next year (Forster, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/16).

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