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Politics & Government

Tobacco tax increase could be headed for the November ballot

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

An initiated measure to increase North Dakota’s tobacco tax could be headed for the November ballot.

"Over 150 volunteers from across the state collected more than 22,000 signatures," saik Kristie Wolff of the American Lung Association in North Dakota, a spokesperson for the "Raise It For Health" coalition. "That's a sign of the strength of our coalition, as well as the public's continued support of our kids, our veterans and individuals struggling with mental illness, addiction and chronic disease."

If igt gets onthe ballot, and passed by voters, it would raise taxes on a pack of cigarettes from 44 cents to $2.20. It would raise about $200 million per biennium. Half that tax money would go toward public health – including addiction treatment – and half would go to veterans’ issues.

Wolff said the measure will also help reduce youth smoking.

"Kids are affected by price," Wolff said.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger will now review the signatures – to see if at least 13,452 are valid, meaning it will go on the ballot.

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