In a state where tobacco has a rich history, a movement is underway to increase Kentucky’s tax on cigarettes. Supporters say it would reduce smoking rates and save lives while opponents argue a tax hike will hurt farmers and the economy. But with the state facing billions of dollars in pension obligations, lawmakers this legislative session appear to have more of an appetite for increasing the cigarette tax.
The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky spent six figures just in the first month of this year’s legislative session trying to convince lawmakers to increase Kentucky’s cigarette tax by one dollar. The $100, 240 spent by the health advocacy group wasn’t much more than the $95, 218 spent by tobacco companies.