Montgomery, AL Alabama Healthy Change, a coalition of health and child advocates, called on lawmakers today to enact a meaningful increase in the state tax on tobacco products to improve the state’s health and economy.
The coalition adds a stronger voice to the debate through the combined influence of its members. Coalition members include key advocacy groups such as Alabama Arise; Alabama Chapter, American College of Physicians; Alabama Children First; American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; American Heart Association; Alabama Hospital Association; American Lung Association in Alabama; and VOICES for Alabama’s Children – all working to advance healthier outcomes for Alabamians across the board and to improve the landscape for the state’s youngest and most vulnerable residents.
Alabama Healthy Change makes the following statement:
“We support a meaningful and significant tax increase that will lead to health and financial wins for Alabama. Raising the state tobacco tax will increase revenues at a time when state budgets are suffering and need the additional revenue all while driving down health care costs.”
The coalition also promotes the tobacco tax increase to help decrease the number of teen and adolescent smokers. The most effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among adolescents and youth, is to increase the price significantly. Increasing the tobacco tax would prevent approximately more than 29,000 Alabama youth from becoming adult smokers – reducing teen smoking by nearly 14 percent over five years.
“Increasing the state tobacco tax is a win for the state, children, families, employees, employers and many others. Now is the time to address health outcomes and health care costs with a common sense approach.”
The coalition’s tagline is “Healthy Debate. Healthy Budget. Healthy Kids.” They call on the state legislature to engage in a healthy debate regarding a healthy budget which will lead to healthy kids. Fully funding basic services to children and families should be a top priority, coalition partners stress.
More information about Alabama Healthy Change and its priorities can be viewed at www.alabamahealthychange.com.
The coalition includes:
Alabama Academy of Family Physicians
Alabama Chapter - American Academy of Pediatrics
Alabama Chapter, American College of Cardiology
Alabama Chapter, American College of Physicians
Alabama Children First
Alabama Hospital Association
Alabama Nursing Home Association
Alabama Optometric Association
Alabama Rural Health Association
Alabama State Employees Association
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)
American Heart Association
American Lung Association in Alabama
Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Alabama
Birmingham Cardiovascular Society
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
March of Dimes
Medical Association of the State of Alabama
VOICES for Alabama’s Children