Gov. Haley Barbour has signed a bill today increasing cigarette taxes in Mississippi by 50 cents per pack. The bill brings the total tax per pack to 68 cents, up from the current 18 cents, which is the third lowest tax in the nation.
"This is truly an historic day for Mississippi," said Roy Mitchell of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program in a release. "This cigarette tax increase is an overdue investment that will lead to less smoking by our children and a healthier state."
Communities for a Clean Bill of Health, a state-wide coalition of health organizations, has worked for seven years to increase Mississippi's cigarette tax and improve the health of the state. The coalition includes the Mississippi affiliates of AARP, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the Children's Defense Fund, the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, the Mississippi Hospital Association, the Mississippi Nurses Association, the March of Dimes, and the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.
Anyone checked to see if Hell froze over?