Anti-smoking advocates want cigarette tax increase

BOSTON (WWLP) — Eight thousand people in Massachusetts die each year from smoking, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the state.

The Department of Public Health says smoking-related diseases account for 10% of all health care costs in the state, which amounts to a full $4.3 billion each year. Seventy-seven percent of smokers claim to want to quit, but anti-tobacco advocates say there is a lack of funding for smoking cessation programs. They are calling for laws increasing the price of tobacco and mandating more community outreach.

“Not funding a tobacco control program is like having a vaccine against a serious disease and walking away from it,” said Dr. Blake Cady, the former President of the American Cancer Society in Massachusetts.

Anti-tobacco advocates failed to get lawmakers to pass a $1.25 tax hike on cigarettes this year, but they intend to re-launch efforts to get similar legislation passed next session.

They encourage anyone who wants to quit smoking to call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Political Pulse

Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!

No
Like It
 
Don't Like It
 
 
 

Comments

We welcome your thoughtful comments. Be the first to participate in the discussion. All comments will display your username and avatar.

 

Add a Comment

Sign in or join now to post a comment. All comments will display your username and avatar.

 


Massachusetts (change)

 
Welcome to Massachusetts onPolitix, powered by 22News. Trust onPolitix for your latest state, local, and national political news. onPolitix is just another way 22News is working for you.
 
Offices & Officials

Governor: Deval Patrick
Lieutenant Governor: Tim Murray
Attorney General: Martha Coakley
Secretary of State: Bill Galvin

Contacting the White House and Congress

Click the links below to get in touch with your elected officials.