Health Groups Aim To Boost Idaho Cigarette Tax - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Health Groups Aim To Boost Idaho Cigarette Tax

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A coalition of health groups wants Idaho to join neighboring states that have boosted their taxes on cigarettes, arguing it will help curb smoking especially among kids.

They've already won support of Rep. Dennis Lake, the Republican who heads the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.

But after the conservative turn of the Legislature during the Nov. 2 election, proposals to hike taxes regardless of which product is targeted face a tough fight.

American Heart Association lobbyist Adrean Casper says raising Idaho's 57-cent-per-pack cigarette tax just 10 percent would cut youth smoking by about 6.5 percent.

Casper says details of the tobacco-tax hike proposal are due out later this year.

With Idaho facing a projected 2012 budget deficit, boosting tobacco taxes could help close the gap.
      
      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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