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Increased Cook County Cigarette Tax

by Anne S. on Monday, November 12, 2012

Mark sent me this exciting news to share!  Late last week when the Cook County Board included a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase in the County budget.  Below is the offlicial American Heart Association statement on the issue.

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association would like to thank Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, and the Cook County Board for including a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase in the County budget approved today. 

Without doubt, taxing tobacco remains a powerful public health strategy because it works. It will drive down smoking rates and reduce death, disability and misery caused by tobacco use.   

The proposed increase would also bring in $25 million or more in new annual revenue to Cook County, which is the health-care provider of last resort to hundreds of thousands of residents.

More importantly, the potential public health benefits are too great to ignore. For as many as 16,000 County residents, this tax increase will be “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” In addition to those who quit, 18,000 fewer kids in Cook County would become addicted adult smokers. And more than 3,000 smoking-affected births would be avoided over the next five years. As a result, taxpayers would also save hundreds of millions in smoking-related healthcare costs.

While no one likes to be taxed more, this is the best of all available revenue options. Simply put, it does the most good. We commend Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board for including this important measure in the budget.

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