Government News
Voters Say Smokers Should Help Fund Health Care
Psychiatric News
Volume 39 Number 24 page 9-9

Voters in two states passed measures that will increase taxes on cigarettes and target the revenue to health care. In Montana, by a 2-to-1 margin, voters approved an initiative to raise taxes on a pack of cigarettes from $.70 to $1.70 a pack. The estimated $38 million that will be generated next year will support the State Children's Health Insurance Program, prescription drug assistance programs for the elderly and the chronically ill, health insurance tax credits, and Medicaid reimbursement rates.

In Colorado 61 percent of the voters supported a constitutional amendment to raise the cigarette tax from $.20 a pack to $.84 a pack. Officials estimate the increase will result in $175 million a year that will go to various public health programs.

Citizens for a Healthier Colorado, which led the battle for passage, enlisted the support of a long list of health and other advocacy organizations and insurance companies. ▪

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