Tobacco Tax Proposals Taking Shape

Jim Hendren

The leader of the Arkansas State Senate says proposed tobacco tax increases, including those affecting currently untaxed e-cigarettes, could begin to take shape by the end of the week.

Senate President Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, said he and several others are working on proposals.

Among the considerations is the fact that smoking-related health problems cost Arkansas’ Medicaid program far more than tobacco taxes raise, according to a new report.

According to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, tobacco-related diseases affecting adults ages 30 to 65 cost Arkansas’ Medicaid program more than $795 million a year. That figure does not include health issues related to pregnancy, childbirth and childhood. ACHI is an independent health policy research, advocacy and program development center.    MORE

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