An anti-smoking group aiming to convince Idaho lawmakers to raise tobacco taxes has released a poll showing residents favor hiking the 57-cent-per-pack cigarette tax.
The American Cancer Society- and Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids-led coalition said Thursday 50 percent of 500 people queried “strongly favor” raising the state tobacco tax, with another 22 percent “somewhat” favoring the move.
On a separate question, 73 percent would back a $1.50 tax hike on every cigarette pack.
The groups argue every 10 percent hike in cigarette prices would cut youth smoking by 6.5 percent.
But they also say increasing the tax by $1.50 could raise $52 million more to address Idaho’s budget deficit.
By contrast, only 42 percent strongly favored increasing beer and wine taxes.
A proposal to do that failed in the 2009 Legislature, a conservative body leery of raising taxes – regardless of the product.