Cigarette Tax, Smoking Ban Discussed At Forum

by Rick Howlett on January 14, 2009

Governor Steve Beshear’s proposal to raise Kentucky’s cigarette tax was the topic of discussion at the monthly Louisville Forum Wednesday.

One of the panelists was Beshear’s chief of staff, Adam Edelen, who said raising the tax by 70 cents per pack would generate some much-need revenue and help reduce smoking in the Commonwealth.

Edelen said the administration also welcomes the call by Senate President David Williams this week for a statewide smoking ban to help cut tobacco-related medical costs.

“We take Senator Williams at his word, that he recoginizes that we have a public health crisis in Kentucky related to smoking and following the lead of Louisville and Lexington is a good idea,” Edelen said.

Also on the panel was smoke shop operator Charlie Casper, who said, in his view, a tobacco tax hike could ultimately lead to taxes on other products that can cause health problems, such as high calorie foods or alcohol.

Comments Closed


Bob January 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm

He should get a lesson about “public property” by being 86ed from every bar in the state.

Whitney St. John January 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm

How does it make sense to raise the tax on cigarettes in order to get much needed revenue, while at the same time discussing smoking bans throughout the entire state?

It’s basically saying, “Smokers, we’d like you to bail us out of our budget deficit, but you can’t smoke anywhere. Please keep buying cigarettes in order to bring more revenue to the state, but quit smoking because it’s unhealthy.”

How do you create a revenue stream that you want to dwindle? What sense does that make? Can’t we all bail out the state? Smokers aren’t the only ones who make purchases….Add .another .5% to the Sales Tax – everyone will have to pay….

Suzumiya Haruhi January 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I think that this is a good idea.

Virgil Kleinhelter January 15, 2009 at 10:28 pm

At least the increase in sales tax is a solution that would work and wouldn’t be picking on any one segment of the population.

The idea of a tax on Tobacco has been tried 40 times in the last few years and only 6 saw a raise in revenue. The largest drop in revenue was 68%. It’s not the best way for Kentucky.

Not one disease has been proven to be caused by SHS.

California has the oldest smoking ban and also has a 16% rate of Asthma. Ky. has a 28% smoking rate and one of the lowest rates of Asthma at 6%. Why would anyone say it causes Asthma in Ky?

SHS being a cause of disease or death is a fraud being spread for the profit made by selling Smoking Cessation Products.

If you watch the bills being passed in Congress it is easy to see, our Representatives are not interested in cutting spending and very little, if any, was passed to create jobs. So far there is NO CHANGE.

Our Legislators were born to spend and they take that serious. They sure don’t care what we think.

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