American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

2019 Ask Your Legislator to Co-sponsor Tobacco Tax Increase

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Dear [Decision Maker],

A decrease in cancer rates. Fewer heart attacks and strokes. Less lung disease. Together we can make this happen for Iowans by keeping kids from starting an addiction to tobacco and helping adults quit. As your constituent and an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer, I'm asking you to please co-sponsor a bill that will be introduced by Representative Ashley Hinson to increase the tobacco tax by $1.50.






We have the opportunity to turn these numbers around. We are asking you to:

Co-sponsor a bill that would increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack. A $1.50 increase in the cigarette tax will reduce Iowa's youth smoking rate by 16.5 percent, prevent 12,900 kids under 18 from becoming adult smokers, help 19,400 current adult smokers quit, prevent 8,800 smoking caused deaths and save the state over $665 million in long-term health care costs. The increase will also result in an estimated over $96 million in new annual revenue.

Invest in tobacco use prevention and cessation programs. Of the $96 million in new revenue, invest an additional $8.78 million in tobacco use prevention and cessation programs. This needed additional funding would bring the tobacco control budget to $12.8 million. Tobacco prevention programs play a crucial role in the prevention of many chronic conditions including cancer. Comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs prevent kids from starting to smoke and help adult smokers quit. This investment will allow the state to revive its successful comprehensive program. The additional revenue should be dedicated to other health programs to help improve the health and wellness of all Iowans.

If we want to reduce the number of people who die from tobacco-related illness, the number of kids who smoke, and the obscene amount we spend each year on tobacco-related heath care costs, we need your help.

By increasing the state cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack and increasing funding to $12.8 million for the tobacco prevention and cessation program, we can once again have an effective state strategy to keep kids tobacco-free and help adult tobacco users beat their addiction. I ask you to fully support these proven strategies for Iowa and co-sponsor Representative Hinson's bill. I hope you will consider this public health policy as a way to prevent youth tobacco use and save lives.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]