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Oklahoma expects more smokers to get help amid cigarette tax

Oklahoma expects more smokers to get help amid cigarette tax
Posted at 11:32 AM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 12:32:47-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Public health advocates expect more Oklahoma residents to try quitting smoking as they face the state's cigarette tax increase that began this month.

The Oklahoman reports that as many as 18,700 smokers in Oklahoma are expected to try quitting as they begin to pay an extra $1 in taxes on each pack of cigarettes or cigarillos. The increase brings the state's total cigarette tax to $2.03 per pack, moving Oklahoma from the 35th-highest state to 15th in tobacco taxes.

John Woods is the executive director of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust. He expects an increase in calls to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, which offers coaching for those looking to quit smoking.

Woods says the calls to the helpline doubled compared to the prior year the last time Oklahoma increased cigarette taxes in 2009.

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