Arrow-right Camera

Eye On Olympia

Anti-smoking advocates call for a $1-a-pack tax hike on cigarettes…


Melissa Long stops for a quick smoke inside a lined-off smoking area at the STA Plaza on Tuesday.  Sometimes as many as 40 smokers cram into the small designated smoking area outside of the plaza. 
 (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Melissa Long stops for a quick smoke inside a lined-off smoking area at the STA Plaza on Tuesday. Sometimes as many as 40 smokers cram into the small designated smoking area outside of the plaza. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The American Heart Association, cancer society, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids are calling for $1-a-pack tax hike on cigarettes, saying that less smoking saves the state a lot of money on health costs.

"It's not about revenue, it's about health savings," state Sen. Rodney Tom said in a press release minutes ago. Tom, D-Medina, today introduced Senate Bill 5626.

"The societal cost of a pack of cigarettes is over $15," he said. "So we're subsidizing smoking."

Washington already charges a fifth-highest-in-the-nation cigarette tax of $20.25 a carton, plus sales tax. This would add $10 per carton to that.

Tom's bill would steer the additional money into anti-tobacco programs, the state's general fund, a water quality fund, a violence-reduction and drug-enforcement account, a fund for schools, and anything left over would go to the state's health services account.

Proponents say the changes would mean nearly $100 million a year in new taxes and would reduce smoking.

 




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Olympia

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.