Written By Julia Kirchner
Kentucky has the second highest rate of smokers out of all 50 states, but this could be changing soon.
Cigarettes contain carcinogens that negatively affect the health of smokers. In other areas that have increased taxes on cigarettes there has been a decrease in the amount of people who smoke.
“I think it’s great that they increase the cigarette tax to discourage smoking,” AP Human Geography teacher Deborah Thomas said. “It should be dispersed. It should go toward more than just pensions.”
Estimates say increasing taxes on cigarettes by at least $1.00 per pack would make the state of Kentucky $266 million more per year.
“If we can do those two things, the smoking rate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky will go down, and the cancer rate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky will go down,” Ben Chandler, the coalition’s chairman told WDRB. “And I can’t think of anything more important than that.”
Currently in the state of Kentucky there is a problem with finding funding to pay for pensions. If the state receives more taxes from cigarette sales, more money can be put towards remediating the pension crisis.
PRP sophomore Bryan Hutcheson said “I think it would be good to bring money in for pensions for the teachers in Kentucky.”