Are you really surprised that most Louisiana voters that took part in a survey concerning a proposal to raise the state's cigarette tax are in favor of it? The truth is the  majority of Louisiana residents don't smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control only 20.5% of the adult population in Louisiana are considered to be smokers.

Therefore  an increase in the cigarette tax would affect non-smokers the same way a tax on telling the truth would affect politicians in Baton Rouge. Since they don't do it, it doesn't affect them at all.

The new poll does offer a lot of political fodder for those trying to avenge the sins of the past and actually put some economic sense into Louisiana's budget. The poll which was conducted by Invest in a  Healthy Louisiana and Public Opinion Strategies showed that nearly 77% of Louisiana voters were in favor of higher taxes on tobacco.

Increase the tobacco tax 71% favor, 29% oppose, 56% strongly favor.

That's what pollster Glen Bolger told the Louisiana Radio Network about the survey of 500 likely Louisiana voters. He suggested in his comments that most of those same voters were against higher sales taxes and higher property taxes. However the proposed tax increase of .22 cents per pack on cigarettes was favored. In fact most of the respondents favored an even higher tax on cigarettes.

$1.50, you had 72% who favored. $1.25 it’s 73%, a quarter doesn’t make much of a difference. $1.00 is also 73%.

The support indicated in the poll results was not blurred by political party lines or affiliation either.

Among base Republicans, 67% support. Republicans are just as supportive as Democrats when you look at base and soft Republicans and base and soft Democrats. Independent voters, 68% support.

Currently the legislature is debating a tax increase of .22 cents per pack. The results of this poll could change their attitude toward an even higher tax. It is estimated that raising the tax rate to $1.25 per pack would provide an increase of $200 million in revenue to the state.



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