Petitions submitted for Missouri tobacco tax increase

May 4, 2012

Supporters of a ballot initiative to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax turned in signatures today.

Several health and education organizations helped collect over two-hundred thousand signatures supporting the increase.

The American Cancer Society’s Misty Snodgrass says part of the revenue would go to stopping cigarette addiction among the youth.

“There will be people that will still smoke. The thing that happens whenever you increase the tobacco tax is that it prevents most youth from smoking and from them ever starting.”

The proposed tax calls for a 73 cent increase on cigarette packs. Snodgrass says the tax increase would raise around 280 million dollars annually, most of which would go toward education funding.

The initiative will go to voters in November if the signatures are approved by the Secretary of State. Missouri currently has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation.