Please sign the Tobacco Tax bill into law
Dear [Decision Maker],
Yesterday, the Maryland Legislature passed HB 732, which includes line items for increasing the state's cigarette tax by a $1.75 per pack, increases the tax on some types of other tobacco products, and earmarks $18.25 million toward tobacco prevention and cessation programs.This tax is long overdue in Maryland, as our state has not passed a single tobacco tax increase in over a decade. We were also pleased with lawmakers' decision to provide the state's tobacco control programs with strong funding that will help prevent tobacco addiction and save lives. It is also a huge win for constituents' health, Maryland's economy, and education--helping to pay for the Maryland Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Settlement. While it also provides revenue as necessary to cover costs associated with COVID-19.
Not only is the $1.75 per pack cigarette tax increase projected to increase annual state revenue by over $95 million, but it will also decrease long-term health care costs from adult and youth smoking declines by over $973 million. The $1.75 per pack cigarette tax increase is also estimated to decrease smoking in youth under age 18 by 18.2%.Significantly increasing tobacco taxes is one of the best ways to reduce tobacco use. This bill will provide much-needed improvements to lessen the rising toll of tobacco in Maryland.
I stand with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and urge for you to sign this bill into law!
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]