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Media Advisory FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 9, 2011 Contact: Peg O’Connell—919-208-5226

LEGISLATORS INTRODUCE BILL TO INCREASE CIGARETTE TAX BY $1 Measure will reduce youth smoking, bring in close to $300 million in new revenue WHO: Representative Jennifer Weiss (Wake), Senator William Purcell (Scotland), other legislation sponsors and issue supporters. WHAT: News Conference WHEN: Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 11am WHERE: Press Room, Legislative Building, 16 West Jones Street, Raleigh Featured Speakers: The Honorable Jennifer Weiss The Honorable William Purcell Bill Robinson, National African American Tobacco Prevention Network Charles Willson, MD, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at East Carolina University and child advocate; former president of NC Pediatric Society and NC Medical Society BACKGROUND: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, substantially increasing the state’s cigarette tax is the surest way to keep kids from starting to smoke and one of the best ways to get adults to quit. For every 10 percent increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes, 7 percent fewer children start to smoke and the same is true for pregnant women. As prices jump up, adult smokers also quit in greater numbers. In addition, a recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies found that 66 percent of North Carolina voters support raising the tax on cigarettes by $1.00 per pack to cut the state’s budget deficit and fund public health programs. According to the Fiscal Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly, the legislation that will be introduced could raise almost $300 million in new revenue, annually. North Carolina’s cigarette tax is currently 45 cents per pack—the 7th lowest in the nation. The national average for cigarette taxes is $1.45. ###

Media Advisory- Press Conference March 15th  

Media Advisory on Press Conference in support of increasing the cigarette tax- March 15th 11 PM at North Carolina General Assembly

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