Health Leaders Applaud Governor Dayton's Proposal to Raise the Tobacco Tax

Jan 22, 2013, 13:05 ET from Raise it for Health

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Raise it for Health, a coalition of Minnesota's leading health and nonprofit organizations, praised Governor Dayton for including a significant tobacco tax increase in his budget. Raising the price of tobacco will drive thousands of current Minnesota smokers to quit and prevent the next generation from becoming addicted adults.

"Governor Dayton has prioritized the health of all Minnesotans," said Matt Schafer, State Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. "We stand ready to work with the Governor and legislative leaders to ensure a tobacco tax increase is included in the final package. Together, we can reduce the economic and emotional burden of tobacco on our state and increasing the price of cigarettes is a proven strategy."

Tobacco is still a big problem in Minnesota. Sixteen percent of Minnesotans still smoke, and 77,000 kids will use tobacco this year. Tobacco-related illnesses kill 5,100 people each year; more than alcohol, homicides, car accidents, AIDS, illegal drugs and suicide combined. A majority of Minnesotans agrees that legislators can and should do more to curb tobacco use and reduce addiction by increasing the state's tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Raise it for Health partners include: AARP Minnesota, Allina Health, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Minnesota, Association for Nonsmokers – MN, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CentraCare Health System, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Courage Center, Four Corners Partnership, HealthEast Care System, HealthPartners, LAAMPP Institute, Local Public Health Association, Mayo Clinic, Medica, Metro-MN Oncology Nursing Society, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, Minnesota Cancer Alliance, Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, Minnesota Council of Health Plans, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Public Health Association, Park Nicollet Health Services, PartnerSHIP 4 Health, School Nurse Organization of Minnesota, Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota, Southwest Community Health Improvement Program, and Twin Cities Medical Society.

SOURCE Raise it for Health