The Ohio House stripped the 65-cents per pack tobacco tax proposed by Gov. John Kasich as well as the plans that would match other forms of tobacco to tax levels that equal cigarettes.
House Finance Chair Ryan Smith says one reason the taxes were scrapped is the fear that more Ohioans would buy smokes in Kentucky, Indiana or West Virginia – bordering states where cigarettes already cost less. But that doesn’t sit well with Jeff Stephens with the American Cancer Society’s Action Network.
“Seven thousand-plus people are dying of cancer-related tobacco use every year, $20,000 when you add in heart disease, lung disease etcetera. They’re just not keeling over right away of overdoses.”
Stephens says each Ohio household pays $1000 a year to treat people who develop cancer-related diseases. To make matters worse, Stephens says the funding for tobacco cessation was also cut by 75% in the house version of the budget.