The Nebraska Legislature is considering increasing the state’s cigarette tax. I say, great idea. By increasing taxes on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack, our state could save lives, reduce health care costs and generate much-needed revenue.
While lawmakers look for revenue, they should keep in mind that cigarette taxes are one of the most predictable sources of revenue that states receive, even with the projected reductions in smoking due to a tax increase. Taxpayers would also benefit from reductions in smoking-caused health care spending by the government and private sector.
My fellow American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteers and I are asking the Legislature to raise the tax by a $1.50 per pack as a proven incentive to help adults quit and prevent kids from ever starting a deadly addiction.
It’s up to our Legislature to pass this lifesaving measure.
Theresa Baack, Kearney, Neb.