Lighting Up Lanterns Against Cigarettes

Posted at: 03/20/2013 10:58 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe

The American Lung Association is using a very visual--sky lanterns-- reminder in the fight against tobacco and influence on our kids.

On Wednesday the group floated the paper bits of light high over Silver Lake Beach in Virgina for the annual Kick Butts Day.

The association, along with kids and families from Virginia, put out 160 of the lanterns to represent their legislative request for a $1.60 tobacco tax increase in the state of Minnesota.

"We know the best way to reduce that harm is to increase the price of tobacco, so today we're here to ask people to support raising it for health," said Jill Doberstein with the American Lung Association.

The Association reports that the increase could prevent over 47,000 youth from a lifetime of addiction.

"Tobacco is tricky. [Tobacco companies] flavor it. They cheapen it. They come up with new kinds of products to target kids. So we want to do everything we can to educate youth that they don't have to be a target," Doberstein said.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has already proposed a $.94 tax increase on a pack of cigarettes in his current plan for the 2013 budget.

That budget and those tobacco tax details will be finalized by the end of the legislative session in May.