Support I-185 to save lives and improve health.
Together we can save lives, save money, and fund vital services that improve the health of Montanans.
Reasons to Support an Increased Tobacco Tax
Every year, 400 kids in Montana become daily smokers and 1,600 of our neighbors die from smoking. This initiative will prevent nearly 100,000 Montanans from losing their health coverage, provide funds for veterans’ suicide prevention, health services to help seniors and people with disabilities stay in their homes, and services to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit.
Where We Stand
Save Montana Lives
Each year 1,600 die from smoking. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. In Montana, 28.4% of cancer deaths are caused by smoking.
Increasing the state cigarette tax $2 per pack will:
- Prevent 4,800 premature deaths.
- Decrease youth smoking rates by 20.6 percent.
- Prevent 8,000 Montana kids from becoming adult smokers.
- Help 9,300 adults quit smoking.
Protect Kids from Big Tobacco
We have a responsibility to protect Montana kids from big tobacco companies that want to hook the next generation of smokers. Increasing the fees on cigarettes and tobacco-related products is a proven way to keep kids from smoking. Without this initiative, 19,000 Montana kids will die prematurely from smoking.
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth. This measure will fund programs to help adults quit, leading to happier and healthier kids.
Keep Health Care for Families
Everyone should be able to see a doctor when they’re sick, and no one should be forced to choose between medical treatment and food for their family. Passing this initiative will improve the health of Montanans across the state by:
- Preventing nearly 100,000 of our friends and neighbors from losing their existing health care coverage through Medicaid.
- Funding veterans nursing homes and suicide prevention.
- Supporting rural hospitals and clinics to ensure that they remain open for all Montanans.
- Providing health services to help seniors and people with disabilities stay in their homes.
- Keeping kids from smoking and helping smokers quit.
Medicaid helps working parents like single moms go to the doctor when they need to and helps protect Montana families from going bankrupt. Medicaid is a lifeline for rural hospitals. When rural hospitals stay open it helps everyone in the community access the care they need.
Help our Economy
Smoking costs our state hundreds of millions every year in health care costs. Every Montana household now pays nearly $779 extra in taxes annually to help cover the cost of smoking. Smoking causes lost productivity, which costs Montana businesses $368.9 million annually.
This initiative will help ensure a healthy and productive workforce, create thousands of jobs for nurses and other medical staff, keep individuals from bankruptcy, and help our rural hospitals stay open.