Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson says he will push for a statewide smoking ban next year and may work to raise the state's tax on cigarettes.
A statewide ban on indoor smoking passed in the state Senate this year but failed in the House. Parkinson said Tuesday he'll try to get support from some House members for the proposal when the Legislature convenes in January.
Kansas imposes a 79-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes — well below the national average of $1.32. Parkinson says raising the tax would bring in additional revenue and deter some young people from smoking.
The Kansas Health Policy Authority says nearly 4,000 Kansans die each year from smoking-related diseases, including 290 blamed on secondhand smoke.