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Public Supports Cigarette Tax Increase

A new study shows a $1 increase in the cigarette tax has widespread support around the state.

The tax increase proposal has been met with some skepticism from Governor Doyle and other politicians who do not want to be linked with a tax increase.

The study was designed to ease the fears of politicians afraid of voting to raise taxes. It found that an overwhelming number of voters approve of a tobacco tax increase.

And they would vote for candidates who support the increase. Sarah Simmons from Public Opinion Strategies says, "Close to 80-percent said that this made no difference or more likely to support that candidate. In voters minds there's a distinct disconnect between typical tax increases and an increase in the tobacco tax."

The study also showed the tax increase had strong support from all voters, regardless of their age, where they live, or whether they were a democrat or republican.

Anti– tobacco advocates say the increase would make 44,000 smokers around the state quit. And they estimate another 72,000 kids would never start smoking.

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