To the Editor:
Big Tobacco has been up to some unsavory practices. In Minnesota, they have been targeting our youth with flavored tobacco products.
Cheyenne, WY – February is a month to love and appreciate our friends and family. The Wyoming Legislature can give a lovely Valentine’s gift to the citizens of Wyoming by passing a significant tobacco tax increase. It will mean more memories with the ones we love. A tax increase will help reduce smoking and save lives, meaning more citizens of Wyoming can make memories with the ones we love.” The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will hold a press conference on Tuesday, February 11 at 9:45 a.m. urging the legislature to pass a bill that would raise the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack and the tax on all other tobacco products to 46% of the wholesale price.
WHO: The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)
WHAT: Press conference with guest speakers:
Representative Sarah Burlingame - Bill sponsor
Dr. Rob Monger - Local physician
Jason Mincer – ACS CAN Wyoming government relations director
WHERE: Capitol Rotunda
WHEN: Tuesday February 11, 2020 at 9:45 a.m.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and smoking causes nearly 28.5% of cancer deaths in Wyoming. Each year, 800 Wyoming residents die from their own smoking and an additional 1,500 kids try cigarettes for the first time. Increasing the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack would lead to a 16.2% decrease in youth smoking and 2,800 youth under 18 would be kept from becoming adults who smoke. The health benefits are clear, but the state of Wyoming would also benefit fiscally. The projected annual revenue from increasing the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack would be nearly $27 million.
The press conference will be a time for issue and policy experts to express the need for the state of Wyoming to pass a tax increase of $1.50 per pack of cigarettes with a parallel tax on all other tobacco products. Increasing tobacco taxes is proven to be an effective way to prevent children from smoking and help adults quit. It’s time for our lawmakers to have some heart and protect our citizens from the dangers of tobacco.