Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 11, 2018. 


More than 12-hundred missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: a pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; plus concerns that proposed Green-Card rules favor the wealthy.

Daily Newscasts

Poll Finds Ohioans Favor Higher Tobacco Tax

PHOTO: A new poll finds that Gov. John Kasich's proposal to increase the state’s tobacco tax is strongly supported by many Ohioans. Photo credit: placardmoncoeur/morguefile.
PHOTO: A new poll finds that Gov. John Kasich's proposal to increase the state’s tobacco tax is strongly supported by many Ohioans. Photo credit: placardmoncoeur/morguefile.

March 20, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio's cigarette tax has not been raised in a decade, but a new poll finds an increase is something many Ohioans overwhelmingly support.

In an effort to reduce income taxes in the state, Gov. John Kasich wants to raise cigarette taxes by $1 per pack. Glen Bolger, partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, said the group's poll found 69 percent of Ohioans support or strongly support the plan.

"Support for it crosses party lines, it crosses ideological lines, every other demographic line. There's really no difference," he said. "This is a proposal that unifies Ohioans."

Ohio's smoking rate is at 23 percent, and its cigarette tax of $1.25 is lower than the national average. According to the American Lung Association, increasing the tax by $1 would reduce the state's youth smoking rate by 12 percent, and prompt more than 73,000 current smokers to quit.

Some business groups are opposed to the proposal, claiming it could hurt their bottom line and possibly result in lost jobs. But Shelly Kiser, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Ohio, said research from other states shows that's not the case.

"When people don't spend money on tobacco, they spend that money on something else," she said. "So there's a lot of data showing that that money doesn't go into a big hole, that they go ahead and spend that money and that those job losses just don't happen."

Tobacco costs Ohio an estimated $5.6 billion annually in health-care costs. Because of long-term health savings, Bolger said nonsmoking and smoking voters tend to view tobacco taxes differently than other taxes.

"Among people who smoke," she said, "we always find a sizable percentage who support a higher tobacco tax because they are saying, 'We need help quitting. Raising the tax will help us quit.' "

The poll also revealed that three-quarters of voters favor taxing other tobacco products, such as cigars and chewing tobacco, at the same rate as cigarettes.

More information is online at ohiolung.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH