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The movement to raise the tobacco tax was always about health

The $1.60 per pack tax increase on cigarettes will keep more than 47,000 Minnesota kids from a lifetime of addiction.

To respond to the August 15 letter that asked, “Can we stop steamrolling stadium politics for a moment and talk about this?” The answer is yes. Because raising the price of tobacco is not about a stadium, it’s about saving lives.

Price is a powerful factor in whether people smoke. The $1.60 per pack tax increase on cigarettes will keep more than 47,000 Minnesota kids from a lifetime of addiction. And it has already motivated many adult smokers to try to quit. QUITPLAN Services, free smoking cessation programs available to all Minnesotans, saw a more than 250 percent increase in calls in the first half of July.

The movement to raise the tobacco tax was always about health, it is supported by a majority of Minnesotans, and its success means a healthier future for all of us.

Molly Moilanen is Co-Chair of the Raise it for Health Coalition and Director of Public Affairs, ClearWay Minnesota.

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