Group working for new Maryland tobacco tax

BALTIMORE - If you're a smoker this story may not exactly light your fire.

A new campaign will launch today to build public support for increasing Maryland's tobacco tax by $1 per pack.

The reason is to hopefully reduce teen smoking and raise funds for health care.

Vincent DeMarco and Maryland, President of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative met with ABC2's Linda So on Tuesday morning to discuss why the group wants the new tax.

DeMarco said "We're trying to save lives and build on past success over the last decade…Every time we (Maryland) have increased the tobacco tax there has been a significant drop in smoking. The result has been a 32 percent drop in smoking in Maryland, double the national average," he said.

That resulted in 70,000 lives saved in preventable tobacco-caused deaths said DeMarco.

This also saved money in health care costs.

That money has been used in prevention campaigns and to expand health care for Maryland children, parents and seniors.

If the tax is passed the group wants the money to go towards tobacco prevention programs and to reduce the number of uninsured in the state.
 

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