As a parent, I do everything I can to protect my children and make sure they have all the tools they need to make the right choices in life.
I’ve made sure they know how dangerous tobacco is and how the industry targets and manipulates them to line their own pockets. But I worry that’s not enough.
In Pennsylvania, 11,800 youth become new daily smokers each year. With all of the external pressures out there, parents need a little help from the community to deter kids from using these deadly products.
That’s what Gov. Tom Wolf is trying to provide for us.
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I am pleased to see a proposed cigarette-tax increase in the governor’s budget. In fact, I’d like to see a higher increase that would save even more lives.
Research shows increasing tobacco taxes are one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use, especially among kids and teens. In Pennsylvania, increasing the tax by $1.60 would prevent 91,100 youth from becoming tobacco’s newest lifetime customers.
This healthy policy is the right move for Centre County and for Pennsylvania.
I applaud the Wolf’s leadership on this issue. Please join me in encouraging state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, by asking him to support this important effort.
The writer is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.