Tobacco Tax Amendment Fails
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – Missouri voters rejected a constitutional amendment that increased the state's tobacco tax. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.
Income from the tax, which added 80 cents to the price of a cigarette pack, would have helped funded Medicaid, healthcare for uninsured and smoking education programs. American Heart Association spokesman Kevin Walker says health care organizations need to continue to educate Missourians.
TAPE: WALKER: Health care costs are going to continue to escalate, a lot of that is driven by tobacco use.
But Ron Leone, of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, says voters sent a message to tax proponents.
TAPE: LEONE: If they actually want to seek a tobacco tax increase, to make sure that it is reasonable and that it does not put Missouri small businesses at a competitive disadvantage with our border states.
A similar tobacco tax was voted down in Missouri four years ago.