FRANKFORT, Ky -- Kentucky lawmakers hear support for a dollar-a-pack hike in Kentucky's cigarette tax. The numbers are highly publicized, Kentucky leads the nation in smoking related deaths and youth smoking. The Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee hear from supporters of a proposed $1 a pack tax hike they claim would drop those numbers and save state Medicaid tax dollars.
The committee heard from Dr. Jason Chesney of the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Dr. Mark Evers of the University of Kentucky's Mackey Cancer Center, and Ashli Watts, a Senior Vice-President of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. A support the tax hike to improve people's health.
Should the tax hike be approved it would raise the state's cigarette tax to $1.60 a pack, 12-cents below the national average. Supporters say the hike would generate $200 million a year in revenues and would also cut Medicaid healthcare costs.
This was an informational session and no vote was taken by lawmakers.