$1 More For a Healthier Generation
The Coalition opinion column advocating for the $1 increase in Kentucky's tobacco tax to improve health and reduce smoking rates has been picked up by more than a dozen Kentucky media outlets. Several more outlets have editorialized in favor of the increase, which would be a win for health, a win for business and a win for the state budget:
A Win for Kentucky Health:
This $1 increase would keep 23,200 of today's youth from becoming adult smokers, and prevent 5,900 infants from being born too early due to smoking during pregnancy. Another 29,400 current adult smokers would quit.
A Win for Kentucky Business:
Kentucky businesses lose nearly $2.8 billion every year in reduced productivity due to smoking. The extra cost for businesses adds up to an estimated $5,816 per employee every year. Economic development experts also know that reducing Kentucky's high smoking rate - the second highest in the nation at 24.5 percent, right behind West Virginia, and 62 percent higher than the national average - will make it easier to attract new business and jobs to the Commonwealth.
A Win for the State Budget:
The $1 increase also would generate more than $266 million in new revenues, which would go a long way toward filling the state's budget shortfall, not to mention the need for funding to shore up the state's pension systems. Cigarette tax increases are particularly effective at reducing smoking among youth, lower-income smokers and pregnant women - reductions that directly decrease state Medicaid expenditures.
If your local newspaper has not run the column, please encourage them to do so. Here is a link to the column. If the editor has questions, please refer them to Bonnie Hackbarth, firstname.lastname@example.org, 877-326-2583.
High Cost of Smoking In
The updated version of our Coalition infographic offering an easy-to-view visual of the cost of smoking in Kentucky on health, health care expenditures and lost productivity is available
. The infographic also portrays the benefits of a $1 increase in Kentucky's tobacco tax. Please use this in your newsletters and social media to share this important information. Here's a glimpse:
Coalition Adds New Steering Committee Members
The Kentucky School Boards Association, the Kentucky Nurses Association and the Kentucky Medical Association will each have a representative on the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow Steering Committee, which
sets strategic direction and determines the policy priorities of the Coalition. Their counsel and expertise will greatly inform the work of the Coalition.