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Cigarette tax may rise to $1.50

Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

Drew Snyder, Interim Director of the Mississippi Division of Medicaid said that health advocacy groups are urging the legislature to make the cost of smoking higher as a way of pricing smokers out of the potentially deadly habit.

“I think a lot of health advocates see a real benefit in deterring this type of behavior [smoking] that is a real cost driver in the division of Medicaid,” Snyder said.

While none of the bills written by legislators survived deadlines, there is a bond bill still on the table that could be amended to increase cigarette taxes.

Snyder added that Medicaid already offers cessation services to people who wish to quit smoking, and are focusing on tobacco cessation for pregnant women and children.

“We are making some active investments,” Snyder said.

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