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NEWS
May 23, 2012
As Gov.Martin O'Malleysigns into law the revenue measure passed during the recent special session, most of the attention will be on the income tax changes in the bill. Also in the new law will be an historic and life-saving increase in our state's tax on little cigars and smokeless tobacco. Thanks to several increases in our cigarette tax over the past decade, we have dramatically reduced cigarette smoking in Maryland, especially among teens, saving tens of thousands of lives. But, because we did not increase the tax on little cigars and smokeless tobacco during this time, youth use of some of these deadly products actually increased, according to a study done by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
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NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2014
Maryland health care lobbyists have launched a negative radio ad against East Baltimore Democrat Julius Henson, who is challenging State Sen. Nathaniel McFadden in this month's primary election. The ad, paid for by Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative Inc., praises the public health record of McFadden and criticizes Henson, a long-time campaign operative who does not support a plan to increase the tobacco tax. The group wants Maryland lawmakers to raise the tax on each pack of cigarettes from $2 to $3 to disincentivize smoking.
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NEWS
March 18, 2010
In Wednesday's column disparaging Maryland's life-saving 2007 tobacco tax increase ("Did cigarette tax increase do more harm than good?" March 17), Marc Kilmer neglects to mention that this increase, along with other policies such as Maryland's smoke free workplace law also encated in 2007, have combined to make Maryland's smoking rate the fourth lowest in the nation, saving thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been...
NEWS
June 2, 2014
Well, it seems that Vincent DeMarco and his Maryland Citizens Health Initiative Group are back at it again proposing yet another $1 per pack increase in Maryland's tobacco tax which is already highest in the region. In his latest letter to the editor, there's even a thinly-veiled threat to Attorney General Doug Gansler and the Republican candidates for governor that, if elected, they'd better not try to repeal any of the tobacco or alcohol taxes enacted during the O'Malley-Brown administration ( "Md.'s tobacco, alcohol tax increases are saving lives," May 28)
NEWS
June 2, 2014
Well, it seems that Vincent DeMarco and his Maryland Citizens Health Initiative Group are back at it again proposing yet another $1 per pack increase in Maryland's tobacco tax which is already highest in the region. In his latest letter to the editor, there's even a thinly-veiled threat to Attorney General Doug Gansler and the Republican candidates for governor that, if elected, they'd better not try to repeal any of the tobacco or alcohol taxes enacted during the O'Malley-Brown administration ( "Md.'s tobacco, alcohol tax increases are saving lives," May 28)
NEWS
January 19, 2012
Over the past decade, Maryland has gradually raised its tax on cigarettes to the current $2 per pack, and the results have been striking. Fewer people smoke cigarettes today than before the tax was implemented, and that's particularly true among high school students. Yet even as lawmakers acted boldly to reduce cigarette use, they foolishly left alone other forms of tobacco, chiefly snuff, chewing tobacco and cigars. So while cigarettes and what's known as "OTP" or Other Tobacco Products were taxed at comparable levels in 1999 (36 cents per pack for cigarettes and 15 percent of wholesale prices for OTP)
NEWS
July 19, 2013
So, letter writer Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association, is worried that hard-working Marylanders won't be able to afford cigarettes if there is a tax increase ("Hike in cigarette tax threatens Md. Retailers," July 17)? This is actually a good thing as maybe it will be an incentive for Marylanders who can't afford cancer sticks to give them up - not just for their own health but for the sake of those around them too. And if convenience stores can only make their living off a substance that causes cancer, then it's time for them to either think of better ways to make money or to close up shop.
NEWS
February 25, 2010
It was an important victory for public health in Maryland when the General Assembly's Republican leadership chose not to propose rolling back our 2007 advances as part of their deficit reduction plan (" GOP lawmakers propose cuts to Md. budget in joint hearing," Feb. 24). During Tuesday's unveiling of their plan, Del. Anthony J. O'Donnell, the House minority leader, said that they did not seek to repeal the dollar per pack cigarette tax increase enacted during the 2007 special legislative session when they called for repealing all of the tax increases that were enacted at the time.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn and Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2011
After successfully pushing a new dime-a-drink alcohol tax, health care advocates are advocating for a new $1 levy on tobacco. That would bring the total to $3 for a pack of cigarettes, among the highest in the nation. A coalition led by the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative says the tax increase would further deter smoking. "To demonstrate how effective tobacco taxes are, smoking rates have declined by 32.6 percent between 1998 and 2009, saving 70,000 people from preventable tobacco-related death," Vincent DeMarco, the group's president, said during a news conference Tuesday announcing the campaign.
NEWS
November 29, 2012
Well, once again the editorial board at The Sun has jumped back in bed with Vincent DeMarco and his Maryland Citizens Health Initiative in supporting an additional $1 increase on Maryland's tax on cigarettes ("A life-saving tax," Nov. 26). As usual, we get the argument that hundreds of thousands of people die each year from smoking, and if we just raise that tax another dollar per pack, then people will finally kick the habit, etc. And let's not forget how the new higher price will discourage "the children" from smoking in the first place because we all know when they doubled the tax to $2 in 2007 virtually all the teenagers stopped smoking ( at least that's what they told us would happen back then)
NEWS
May 28, 2014
We at the Maryland Health Care For All Coalition, representing hundreds of faith, community, labor, business and health care groups from across Maryland, hope that when Attorney General Doug Gansler and the Republican candidates for governor criticize the "40 new taxes" enacted under the O'Malley administration they are not including in their criticism the life saving tobacco and alcohol tax increases approved in 2007, 2011 and 2012. The one-dollar per pack cigarette tax increase enacted in 2007, which Attorney General Gansler supported, has helped to reduce cigarette smoking by 32 percent in Maryland, almost double the national average, and by 40 percent among teens.
NEWS
Johannes Schmidt | May 2, 2014
In recent weeks, the web has been buzzing with excitement over Palcohol, the powdered alcohol that can turn water into vodka, rum or any one of four specialty cocktails. While it remains unclear when - or if - the product will hit stores, due in part to some backtracking by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), states including Vermont and Minnesota are already moving to ban it. In early April, the TTB granted Palcohol label approval, then rescinded it roughly two weeks later, according to Bevlaw.com, a blog maintained by the Lehrman Beverage Law firm in Virginia.
NEWS
February 9, 2014
As a lung cancer survivor who began smoking as a teenager because it was cool, I know the dangers of smoking first hand. I volunteer for the American Cancer Society as a recovery coach for lung and esophageal cancer patients. In addition, I work as a cancer registrar at MedStar Franklin Square Hospital and record tumor statistics for the many lung cancer diagnoses. I was diagnosed at age 49 with lung cancer and had both the fright and fight of my life. Luckily, I'm still here and can enjoy my beautiful little grandson, although, because I also have COPD as a result of my smoking, I have trouble keeping up with him. We've made a lot of progress against tobacco, but there is still work to do in Maryland.
NEWS
December 26, 2013
¿     Maryland leads the nation in education spending, but not necessarily achievement . ¿     Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly began to go after referendum process after the 2012 success of MDPetitions.com in petitioning issues to the ballots. ¿     Thanks to high tobacco tax rates, Maryland was found to be a leader in cigarette smuggling . ¿     Red Maryland broadcast live from the 2013 MDCAN Turning the Tides Conference, which included a protest by former Delegate Saqib Ali over the inclusion of Pamela Gellar as a speaker.
NEWS
July 19, 2013
So, letter writer Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association, is worried that hard-working Marylanders won't be able to afford cigarettes if there is a tax increase ("Hike in cigarette tax threatens Md. Retailers," July 17)? This is actually a good thing as maybe it will be an incentive for Marylanders who can't afford cancer sticks to give them up - not just for their own health but for the sake of those around them too. And if convenience stores can only make their living off a substance that causes cancer, then it's time for them to either think of better ways to make money or to close up shop.
NEWS
April 23, 2013
Your recent editorial on stormwater fees made me burst out laughing with tears streaming from my eyes - hopefully, liquid that will not one day to be considered taxable run-off ("The rain tax sham," April 18). You opine that "we think it's far more sensible to expect polluters to clean up after themselves - and in this case, that means all of us. " In response to that statement, I couldn't help but think of the Sunday morning televangelist shouting at us "repent, you nasty polluters, repent!"
BUSINESS
By Ian Johnson and Ian Johnson,Sun Staff Writer | June 1, 1994
WASHINGTON -- When White House officials began floating ideas for health care reform last year, one trial balloon had no trouble staying aloft: a 75-cent-a-pack tax on cigarettes that would raise $11 billion a year. Catching the growing anti-tobacco mood of the country perfectly, the Clinton administration's proposal was seen as an easy way to raise money, discourage an unhealthy habit and offend relatively few voters."There is a changing public attitude toward smoking. It's no longer seen as just a personal decision but a real health problem for all of society," said Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, a Baltimore Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee who recently voted for a $1.25-a-pack increase in the federal tobacco tax.But Congress' near-unanimity that tobacco must be taxed more -- and taxed hard -- raises some troubling questions.
NEWS
February 23, 1997
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE is overwhelming that cigarette smoking is detrimental to your health. Seven thousand six hundred Marylanders will die this year because of their smoking habits. Taxpayers will pay $123 million in Medicaid costs in Maryland to provide medical treatment for those with tobacco-related illnesses. The total annual health-care bill for smoking-related illnesses in Maryland is $4 billion.Smoking is by far Maryland's No. 1 killer. Smokers are five times more likely to turn into binge drinkers and 15 times more likely to turn to marijuana.
NEWS
December 9, 2012
Contrary to Marc Kilmer's letter ("Don't enable Md.'s addiction to cigarette tax revenue," Dec. 6), Maryland's 2007 dollar-per-pack cigarette tax increase significantly reduced teen smoking and saved lives. Between 2008 when the law took effect and the next time a survey of teen smoking was taken in 2010, smoking among teens in Maryland dropped from 15.3 percent to 14.1 percent, saving thousands of Maryland young people from the horrors of tobacco addiction. For a personal account of how this tax increase saved lives, Mr. Kilmer should read the commentary that appeared in The Sun several months ago written by the Rev. Fred Weimert, the board chair of the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council ("Cigarette taxes saved my kids' lives," Aug. 30)
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | December 6, 2012
The prospect that the federal government could go over the so-called "fiscal cliff" is hanging over many of the decisions that must be made on Maryland's tax and spending plans, the leaders of the General Assembly said after meeting Thursday with Gov. Martin O'Malley. House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller conferred for almost an hour with O'Malley in the governor's office in what is likely to be one of several  meetings before the General Assembly convenes for its 2013 session Jan. 9. "We had a very good conversation.
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