Tobacco Tax Increase Proposed for Maryland - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Tobacco Tax Increase Proposed for Maryland

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SALISBURY, Md.-A recent reports show that nearly one out of every five adults in Maryland smokes. Some Maryland lawmakers are hoping to give smokers an incentive to kick the habit by possibly raising the state tobacco tax.

"We need to build on our past successes by increasing the cigarette tax by another dollar per pack which will save tens of thousands more lives, reduce teen smoking and spring in almost $100 million which can fund public health and needs," said Vincent DeMarco with the Maryland Citizen's Health Initiative.

Currently the state tobacco tax is $2 but could be bumped up to $3. DeMarco says raising the tax would keep more young people away from the habit.

"We have a 40 percent drop in teen smoking the past few years because of the past tobacco tax increases and we can decrease teen smoking even more with this proposal," he said.

But some parents say it's them, not the state who should be keeping their children from smoking.

"I personally think that parents should be involved in getting their kids to not smoke," Michael Kelly said. "I think taxes are too high on everything and if people want to smoke then that's their right, as long as it's in a place that's not around children or people who don't really care for it."

Other non-smokers say raising the price won't stop people from puffing on cigarettes.

"As a sin tax, I don't think it's going to affect the outcome of your cigarette purchases, I think that people are going to buy what they want because of the habit, the addiction, whatever you want to call it," Darnell Davis said.


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