State may raise smoke tax by $1 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State may raise smoke tax by $1

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

January 9, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Lung cancer is the number one killer of men and women in the state of Georgia. The American Cancer Society is supporting a big tax increase on cigarettes in hopes of changing that statistic.

The state legislature will consider a proposal to increase Georgia's cigarette tax by $1.00.

Right now, the tax is 37¢ per pack one of the lowest in the country. If the tax increase is approved, it could generate $350 million in Tax Revenue for the state. Cecillia Morris, Senior Manager of the American Cancer Society in Albany, also believes it will cut down on smoking, and therefore, the number of lung cancer cases. 

"It's a win-win for us," Morris said. "Number one, it's going to save lives. Number two, it's going to reduce the use of cigarettes and a lot of them are just going to drop the habit anyways because it's not affordable."

The last increase of the cigarette tax in Georgia was in 2003.

More than two billion dollars is spent each year in Georgia for treatment of people with advanced lung cancer.

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