A collection of 19 groups are asking the legislature to more than double the state tax on tobacco products. Stacy Frelund of the American Heart Association says the state’s tobacco prevention and control program has seen some major cuts over the past couple of years. In 2014, a study showed 19 percent of Iowans were smokers.
Supports say raising the tax rate by a buck fifty is daunting for politicians. Adding, with the state spending one-point-two billion dollars in smoking related health care annually, adding more than 100 million dollars in new revenue could help lower the number of smokers in Iowa.