VOTE YES - HB 2372
VOTE YES ON HB 2372! Support a $1.50 cigarette tax increase in order to save lives and raise revenue for critically underfunded health care services in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma continues to have one of the highest rates of adult smokers in the nation. It is the number one cause of preventable death in our state and claims thousands of lives each year. Despite this, we rank in the bottom of states in our combined state and local tax rates for cigarettes. Raising the price on a pack of cigarettes will discourage smoking use and will prevent vulnerable youth from picking up a dangerous and deadly habit. In addition to bettering the health of current smokers and second-hand smokers, lowered smoking rates would drive down healthcare spending. Oklahoma's high prevalence of smoking affects all Oklahomans in the form of higher insurance premiums and increased public spending on avoidable chronic diseases. By disincentivizing smoking, we can focus spending on primary care, prevention, and total-person health.
Oklahoma must address its budget shortfall and healthcare crisis. We cannot cut our way out of this massive budget shortfall. Let's pass a cigarette tax increase and use the money to shore up funding for mental health, Medicaid provider rates, safety-net health care programs.
Oklahoma Primary Care Association supports the plan to increase cigarette taxes to discourage Oklahoma's youth from starting to smoke and to encourage current smokers to quit. We believe Oklahoma's health care system is in critical need of funding, and that we can raise revenue while saving lives.
Tell your legislators you do, too! Use our action center to quickly let your legislators know you support the cigarette tax!
Posted on Fri, May 12, 2017
by Cassidy Heit