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Supporters of Failed Tobacco Tax Look Ahead

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – In the last four years Missouri voters have twice failed proposals to increase taxes on tobacco. In this week's midterm election the voters said no to the measure by 60,000 votes. Supporters of the tax are now trying to regroup and find other ways to curb smoking in the state. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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Supporters of Amendment 3 say they are disappointed that voters failed the 80-cent tax increase on a pack of cigarettes that would have generated at least $350 million a year for healthcare and anti-smoking programs.

Missouri has the third highest smoking rate in the country and Cindy Erickson, spokeswoman for the supporters says the battle is not over to help people quit smoking and prevent young people from picking it up. Now she says the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and various other health care providers will refocus their efforts.

Cindy Erickson: "We will continue fighting and working toward preventing people from smoking and also helping people who want to quit. We've been doing that representing the community for over 100 years."

Erickson says since voters rejected the tobacco tax increase she hopes the Legislature will allocate money for more anti-smoking programs.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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