Bill targets smokeless tobacco products

Posted at: 02/21/2013 6:39 PM
By: KOB.com staff

Lawmakers are mulling over a proposal aimed at getting tobacco products out of the hands of children.

The taxes on non-cigarette tobacco products like dip, loose tobacco and cigars are less than those on cigarettes.

The measure would increase that tax to 53 percent - the same as the cigarette tax.

Lawmakers say increasing the price of all tobacco products will decrease the number of kids who use them.

 “The tobacco industry has to replace those smokers and the only way to do that is to addict more of our children and our youth to nicotine,” Dr. Dona Upson, with the American Lung Association, said.

If the measure passes, the money generated from the tax would go the University of New Mexico Cancer Center in honor of late House Speaker Ben Lujan, who died from lung cancer last year.