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Legislature passes and Governor signs $1.60 increase in cigarettes; the move will save lives and generate revenue and savings for the state

by Anne S. on Friday, May 24, 2013

ST. PAUL, MINN – The Minnesota House and Senate voted today to pass a $1.60 increase in the price per pack of cigarettes. This bold decision will save lives and save the state health care costs.

By raising the price of cigarettes, 47,700 Minnesota kids will not become tobacco-addicted adults; 36,600 current Minnesota smokers will have the motivation to quit; 25,700 Minnesotans will be saved from premature smoking-related deaths; nearly $400 million will be generated in revenue for the biennium and Minnesota will save $1.65 billion in long-term health care costs.

“We are pleased that the Minnesota Legislature listened to the public and made the right decision to raise the price of cigarettes. This will save our kids from ever starting a life-threatening tobacco addiction and motivate more Minnesotans to quit,” said Rachel Callanan, regional vice president of advocacy for the American Heart Association in Minnesota. “Through tobacco-related heart disease and cancer, tobacco kills more Minnesotans than alcohol, homicides, car accidents, AIDS, illegal drugs and suicide combined. This is one of the most effective steps to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco in Minnesota.”

A recent poll by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota showed that 66 percent of Minnesotans support a cigarette tax increase and 60 percent believed the legislature should be doing more to prevent tobacco’s harm in Minnesota.

“Thanks to our dedicated advocates, volunteers, testifiers, legislative authors, coalition partners and everyone who spoke up on this important issue, the Legislature heard the message loud and clear,” Callanan added.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill Thursday May 23, 2013.

Make sure to thank your lawmakers for choosing kids, not big tobacco by taking action here: http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=32981 

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