QC Smokers Could Soon Be Paying More For Cigarettes
A new proposal to increase the cigarette tax in Iowa was introduced to Governor Kim Reynolds Tuesday, according to The Des Moines Register. Backed by the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, the proposal would more than double the tax on cigs, increasing their price by about $1.50 per pack.
The groups that made the pitch to Reynolds are hoping that the extra revenue from the tax increase would go towards health care. The Register says that tobacco-related health care costs in Iowa cost $1.28 billion a year.
“I know it’s sometimes daunting to think about tax increases,” said Stacy Frelund, the Iowa government relations director for the heart association. “But we could have approximately $106.14 million that would be brought in from that tax. It would mean 19,000 youth would never become smokers and 22,000 adults would quit.”
While Governor Reynolds declined to say whether or not she's interested in increasing the tax, she did add that her staff would be reviewing the group's plan. Not the most promising statement for backers of the proposal, but it has been 11 years since Iowa increased the cigarette tax, and surprisingly, the state has one of the lower rates in the US for tobacco products. It's not out of the question for a tax increase to happen in the near future.