71% support cigarette tax hike, poll says
Georgians support cranking up the state sin tax on cigarettes by 75 cents a pack to help keep kids from smoking, a new poll found.
They also support using such newly generated revenue to help Medicare recipients pay for prescription drugs, and to fund cancer treatment and prevention programs.
The poll was sponsored by the Georgia Alliance for Tobacco Prevention, a coalition of health and advocacy groups that may launch an effort next year to increase the state's cigarette tax.
In the poll, 71 percent of those randomly sampled supported raising the state excise cigarette tax by 75 cents.
Eighty-three percent said the money should be used for youth tobacco prevention programs, and 88 percent said it should go toward cancer treatment.
"This is the first time in Georgia we've asked this question about raising the cigarette tax," said Adele Cohen, executive director of the Georgia Alliance For Tobacco Prevention. "In other states, other polls have shown similar levels of support, so this shows we're really in line with that."
Georgia's current 12-cent state tax on a pack of cigarettes is one of the lowest in the nation, 46th lowest out of 50 states, according to rankings collected by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The statewide poll was conducted by the Mellman Group and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
It sampled a cross section of 500 state residents by telephone in April.