Consider This - Cigarette Tax

By Ted Fortenberry - bio | email

South Carolina State Superintendent Jim Rex says he would like to see the proceeds from a cigarette tax used to help with an education budget shortfall. Other state leaders would like to see the money used to help with state health care, and others just want the tax to go into the general fund.

Consider This: How about we make a decision and get the tax in place so we can start receiving the funding? Every area needs the additional revenue and you can make a strong case why one deserves it over the other. The main thing is to get something passed because we are missing millions of dollars in revenue by continuing to have the lowest cigarette tax in the country. Regardless of where you direct the proceeds let's get the tax in place now.

Our recommendation is to add an additional $1 per pack, which would still be less than 29 states across the country. Plus, this would raise a tremendous amount of revenue for state coffers and hopefully help discourage teens from picking up the habit in the first place. And part of that money should be directed towards free smoking cessation classes to help smokers quit. Picking up the additional revenue would be nice, but helping people improve the health of South Carolina residents would be even better.

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