Hard to imagine, but only a decade ago we had smoking sections and ashtrays on tables in restaurants. Children could not enjoy a meal with their families without breathing in secondhand smoke.
Coalition Praises Legislature’s Cigarette Tax Increase
OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to the bill that would raise Oklahoma’s cigarette tax by $1 per pack, a coalition of leading national, state and local health organizations issued the following statement:
“Our organizations are pleased the Legislature has provided Oklahoma what it needs to improve health across the state – a meaningful cigarette tax increase that will curb the use of tobacco while creating much-needed annual revenue for our cash-strapped state.
“Significantly raising the price of tobacco decreases the number of youth who start smoking, increases the number of smokers who quit, cuts health care costs, and reduces deaths from lung and other cancers, heart diseases, strokes and other preventable, chronic diseases. The $1-per-pack increase will be incredibly impactful, projected to save an estimated 10,200 lives while generating $144.8 million in new annual revenue. The state will also see long-term healthcare savings north of $767 million.
“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Oklahoma, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids have long advocated for a cigarette tax increase that would improve Oklahoma’s health and financial outlook for critical health programs. Cigarettes cost the state more than $1.62 billion in direct medical costs and $2.1 billion in lost productivity every year. In concert with strong funding for tobacco and prevention programs, this cigarette tax increase will allow Oklahoma to finally start saving lives and saving money while benefitting from a healthier population.”