Missouri ranks top 10 in most addictive smoking states - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Missouri ranks top 10 in most addictive smoking states

Missouri is the leader of the pack when it comes to being among the most addictive smoking states in the nation.  A new assessment by health.com has Missouri ranked in the top 10 based on a variety of factors.  But in Missouri, it focused more on the price of cigarettes. 

Missouri has the lowest state sales tax on cigarettes in the nation, which is only $0.17 a pack. With more deaths caused by smoking each year, doctors say something has to be done to reduce it in Missouri.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Doctors like Humam Farrah with the Hannibal Clinic say more people die from it every year.
"In the last two weeks alone, we lost three very young people between 50 and 60 to lung cancer.  This problem is costing us precious lives and I would say a very large proportion of health expenses nationwide are geared toward smoking," Dr. Farrah said.  

A recent study shows a possible solution in Missouri could be to raise its sales tax on cigarettes to deter more people from smoking.  The CDC cites a 10% price increase would cut the amount of smokers by 4%.  However, smoker Anthony Majors doesn't believe it would make that much of a difference. 
"I think some people would, but I don't think a lot of people will. I think they'll  try to find ways to buy their cigarettes. I really do," Majors said.  

Dr. Farrah believes if the state of Missouri would increase its sales tax on cigarettes, it could save lives. 

"Lung cancer right now is the number one killer in both men and females. And the sad part is both COPD and lung cancer are tremendously increasing in our female patients and that is due to more and more smoking," he said.

So far, Missourians don't seem to be on board with paying more to smoke.  Voters have rejected an increase in sales tax on cigarettes three times in the last 10 years. 

Missouri relies on a lot of business from smokers in neighboring states.  The Illinois cigarette sales tax is about $2 per pack, while Iowa's is $1.36.

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