New cigarette tax saves lives in MinnesotaI’m writing in support of the $1.60 increase in the cigarette tax, which was included in the tax bill passed in the recently completed legislative session.
By: Lindsay Aijala, Two Harbors, Lake County News Chronicle
I’m writing in support of the $1.60 increase in the cigarette tax, which was included in the tax bill passed in the recently completed legislative session. The $1.60 per pack increase means that 47,000 Minnesota kids will never become addicted to cigarettes and have to face the life-long health problems that result from the addiction. My family and I have lived in Lake County for most of my life and I have noticed how cigarettes are getting into the hands of high school students and even middle school students. This increase could help the youth in our county from becoming lifelong users.
Thanks to this increase, youth smoking will decrease by 16 percent and save 5,700 Minnesotans from premature, smoking-related deaths. This increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes is important because tobacco is still a big problem in Minnesota. Smoking costs our state $3 billion a year. The number of deaths in Minnesota caused by smoking is more than alcohol, homicide, car accidents, AIDS, illegal drugs, and suicides combined. This increase has contributed toward my efforts to help others improve their health, including many family and friends.