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Economy and Business


Kasich looks to smokers to pay for tax cuts
Anti-smoking advocates say an increase in cigarettes taxes could also lead to healthcare savings in Ohio
Story by AKILAH PORTER


 
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The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Gov. John Kasich wants to increase Ohio’s taxes on cigarettes to help pay for a state income-tax cut.  Advocates for non-smoking organizations are in favor of more taxes on cigarettes regardless of what happens with income taxes.

Shelly Kiser is the director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Ohio. She says hiking the cigarette tax has both health and economic benefits.

Hear Kiser on how more taxes on cigarettes can economically benefit Ohioans

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“Tobacco use is costing Ohio businesses their increased health care cost, their increased productivity for their employees, and our high tobacco use rates make our population less appealing to businesses looking to relocate,” Kiser said. “Gov. Kasich’s emphasis on lowering tobacco use rates shows he really cares not only about the health of Ohioans but also the health of our businesses.”

Kiser says Ohio has the tenth worst smoking rate at 23.3 percent— with the national average at 18 percent. She says a minimum tax increase of 50 cents on the current $1.25 a pack can get people to stop smoking.

Kiser says young people and low income Ohioans are likely to cut back on smoking if the cigarette tax is raised. 

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