I’ll be addressing the Nevada Senate and giving testimony in support of SB386.
Many of you know that I’m a very strong anti-smoking advocate. I hate tobacco products. I especially hate cigarettes and other non-smokeless products.
On April 5th the Legislature will hold hearings on two separate tobacco tax bills, one in each house. These bills would increase taxes on tobacco products to a point that will reduce consumption, especially among youth, and raise millions of dollars to help prevent cuts to important health services and education.
My Letter to the Assembly and Senators:
As an American Heart Association and American Stroke Association National Advocate & Volunteer, I am writing to urge your support of a tobacco tax increase in Nevada.
Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States and the leading controllable risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
A tax increase on tobacco products will reduce consumption, especially among youth, and raise millions of dollars to help prevent cuts to important health services and education.
In recent polling nearly three-fourths of Nevada voters (73%) favored an increase in the state tobacco tax as a way to help balance the state budget, outpacing support for increasing the state’s casino tax, mining tax or sales tax.
Every single state that has raised its cigarette tax rate has subsequently received more tax revenue than they would have received without a rate increase, despite the fact that cigarette tax increases reduce state smoking levels.
Put simply, the increased tax per pack brings in more new state revenue than is lost from the related reductions in the number of packs sold and taxed in the state. Moreover, the substantially higher revenue levels enjoyed by those states that significantly increase their cigarette tax rates persist over time (while the cost savings from the related smoking declines grow rapidly).
Please support a tobacco tax increase in Nevada; it is both smart fiscal and health policy.
Heart Healthy Wishes, Keith Ahrens, CFT, SFN
cc: Assembly Taxation Committee, Senate Revenue Committee