Should voters approve I-773, raising tobacco taxes to fund health care?

Commentary | October 5, 2001 | By Becky Kavoussi | Tacoma News Tribune

Washington is hurtling toward an economic crisis, but it may not be the one you know about. Our 10th, eighth and even fifth-graders are becoming addicted to cigarettes at an alarming clip, spelling chronic illness and premature death for thousands. At the same time, more than 750,000 of our working friends and neighbors are without health insurance and the numbers are growing. These are festering problems just waiting to erupt. And when they do, Washington will be faced with avoidable health care costs exceeding $1 billion each year. Initiative 773 gives us the opportunity to dramatically improve the health and health care of the people in our state through a 60-cent increase per pack of cigarettes.

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