Supporters renew push to increase Louisiana cigarette tax - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Supporters renew push to increase Louisiana cigarette tax

New push for higher cigarette tax New push for higher cigarette tax
BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Members of an advocacy group called "Invest in a Healthy Louisiana" traveled to the steps of the Capitol on Monday to urge state lawmakers to increase the state's 36-cent cigarette tax.

Members of the group say a higher tax would drastically reduce the number of smokers in the state. They say Louisiana currently has the third-lowest cigarette tax in the nation.

Supporters of the proposal want to see the current tax raised to the national average of $1.54, saying it will prevent 36,700 children from becoming smokers.

Critics, however, believe an increase to $1.54 is unrealistic, and late last month, a House committee agreed to an increase from 36 cents a pack, to 68 cents a pack.

State representative Harold Ritchie authored the bill. He's a Democrat from Bogalusa who says he has smoked cigarettes for 50 years.

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