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Protect our health, protect our kids

Published: October 2, 2013

Regarding “Tax boost could help early learning programs” (News, Sept. 26): The U.S. Senate is considering a bill that would increase the federal tax on cigarettes by 94 cents per pack. Raising the federal tobacco tax can benefit Oklahoma children by funding much-needed educational programs. But the benefits of a tobacco tax increase are twofold for Oklahoma children. Increasing tobacco taxes provides a proven incentive to prevent kids from ever starting the deadly habit. The Senate bill could save countless lives, prevent people from getting cancer and stop children from trying that first cigarette.

The tobacco industry knows how effective tobacco taxes are in curbing smoking rates — which is why it will do everything it can to stop this. It's up to us to call on our lawmakers to pass this lifesaving bill. Together we can protect our health and protect our kids.

Carolyn Durbin, Oklahoma City

Durbin is a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.