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FHA Supports Dollar Tobacco Tax

April 23rd, 2009 by flanews

One out of every five middle school kids and twice as many high school students in Florida admit to having smoked at least one cigarette.

The Florida Hospital Association says raising the tobacco tax would cut down on teen smoking. FHA officials were at the state capitol Thursday asking the House to support a one dollar tobacco tax. The tax would raise an estimated 800 million dollars a year. FHA President Bruce Rueben said it will also save the state health care dollars.

Florida spends about 6.2 billion dollars on smoking related illness. Thats close to 600 dollars for per family in Florida. If we can reduce the rate of smoking, we can reduce those costs overall and help mitigate the challenges Florida seems to deal with every year in terms of funding these human services, said Rueben.

The Tobacco tax passed the Senate on a unanimous vote. The House has been allergic to the tax all session, but the House Speaker says hell consider the idea.

Posted in Children, Health, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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