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Cigarette Tax Dispute

 
Posted May 20th, 2014 @ 6:21am

While supporters of increasing Ohio's cigarette tax claim it will encourage smokers to quit and discourage people from starting the habit, opponents disagree.

Beth Wymer with the Ohio Wholesale Marketers Association says higher taxes only send people across state lines, where cigarettes are cheaper, or to the Internet, where they're sometimes not taxed at all.

Micah Berman, Assistant Professor at Ohio State's College of Public Health, backs the idea of increasing Ohio's cigarette tax from $1.25 to $1.85 a pack. He tells Joel Riley it's probably the single most effective method of reducing tobacco use. One of every four Ohioans is a smoker, he says, and the state's rate of youth smoking is the highest in the nation.

Wymer says higher taxes will not only impact cigarette sales but the chips, candy bars and other snacks that convenience stores and other retailers sell. And she claims there are 7500 jobs in Ohio convenience and grocery stores that rely on tobacco sales.

 

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