Tuesday October 29, 2013
Members of Congress, their staff and others in D.C. today will see a new ad in Capitol Hill newspapers and online with a big, bold headline: Senator Rescues Children.
What do you think?
The ad campaign calls on members of Congress to become heroes by increasing the federal tobacco tax to save lives and save the nation health care dollars. Senators already have a great opportunity to do just that by cosponsoring S. 826, the Tobacco Tax and Reinforcement Act – a bill that would raise the federal tobacco tax by 94 cents and create parity with other tobacco products. Senators Blumenthal, Harkin and Durbin introduced – and Senators Rockefeller and Whitehouse joined – a bill similar to a proposal from President Obama that would increase the federal tobacco tax by 94 cents. It has been more than four years since the current federal tobacco tax was increased to $1.01. Recognizing the tremendous health and economic benefits from increasing the tax again, these Senators are seeking to make the proposal a reality.
We’ve run the numbers and a 94-cent increase in the federal tobacco tax would prevent 626,000 children from premature death due to smoking-related illnesses and 1.7 million American children from becoming addicted smokers. The increase would have tremendous benefits for adults as well, reducing the number of adult smokers by 2.6 million over 10 years. Furthermore, this proposal comes at a time when there is a lot of discussion about how to reduce health care costs. Our estimates show that a 94-cent increase would save the country more than $63 billion in long-term health care costs from fewer youth and adult smokers, in addition to generating more than $78 billion in new revenue.
We’re excited to debut our new tobacco tax ad campaign at a time when members of Congress on both sides of the Capitol are starting to meet as a conference committee about the FY14 budget. It’s a common-sense solution that saves lives and saves money – a solution we hope all members of Congress will pass and become heroes rescuing children.
Do you want to make your voice heard? Ask your U.S. Senators to cosponsor S.826 today!