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Published: Thursday, 9/16/2010

American Lung Association says Ohio should double cigarette tax


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The American Lung Association is urging Ohio leaders to double the state's $1.25 tax on a pack of cigarettes.

The anti-smoking group released a study Wednesday showing an increase to $2.50 would provide the state with at least $350 million in additional annual revenue.

University of Illinois-Chicago economist Frank Chaloupka was the lead author of the study. He says hardcore smokers make cigarette taxes much more stable for states than income taxes.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports a spokeswoman says Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland opposes a higher tax.

John Stephenson of the National Taxpayers Union tells the Dayton Daily News an increase would hurt Ohio retailers because smokers could drive to neighboring states to buy cigarettes at lower tax rates.

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