April 19, 2014

Prop. B backers say they’ll be back (AUDIO)

The proposed tobacco tax increase defeated by voters last week is a three-time loser. But supporters are not going away.

The tobacco tax increase failed by about 43-thosuand votes out of almost 2.7 million votes cast. It’s the closest Tobacco Free Missouri has come to getting an increase in tobacco taxes. Organization Director Traci Kennedy thinks it will be some time before the group can raise the money to put another tax increase on the ballot. But she’s confident voters eventually will support the hike.

She doubts the legislature will do anything. But she says lawmakers are more interested in taking donations from the tobacco industry than they are willing to make policies about smoking.

Kennedy says her organization will continue to shape policy at the local level and provide cessation information. Tobacco Free Missouri says 21 communities have adopted smoke free ordinances. Kennedy says the organization will continue to work with local governments. She says experience in other states has shown legislatures will act after enough communities have adopted ordinances.

AUDIO: Kennedy interview