(Access to Coverage of Tobacco Treatment In Our Nation)
Shaping Policies | Improving Health
October 26, 2012 Public health activists and officials say the higher cost of tobacco products as a result of the latest state tax increases is creating an effective deterrent for youth. “That’s going to result in one-third fewer youths using these deadly products,” Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative and a lead lobbyist for the tax hike, said of the cost of the tobacco products. He spoke at a news conference Wednesday at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School in Baltimore.
After lobbying from the coalition, the General Assembly raised the tax on small cigars from 15 percent to 70 percent and on smokeless tobacco from 15 percent to 30 percent, far exceeding what neighboring states charge. The tax hike was intended to target the small, often sweet-flavored and brightly packaged cigars widely available in gas stations and convenience stores.
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