Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blowing smoke...

Tobacco foes in South Carolina are pushing a proposal that would raise the state's lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax (7 cents a pack) almost to the national average of $1 per pack. (The national average now is $1.01).The 93-cent per pack raise by Rep. Seth Whipper, D-Charleston, is similar to a proposal made last year. The proposal would hike the tax three times more than a proposal floated by GOP Gov. Mark Sanford.

Advocates say the tax would raise $223 million in South Carolina. They say the money could be used for a variety of purposes, including research, smoking cessation plans, and programs for kids to improve health, nutrition and literacy.

House leaders, however, say the proposal hasn't got much of a chance this year. More: The State, Greenville News.

Any thoughts on the issue?

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