Please click on http://www.tobacco-free-wv.com/blog/ or simply Google the Coalition for a Tobacco Free WV’s blog.
ALERT: Senate Bill 284 that will change the health regulation system in the state. The Health and Human Resources Committee of the Senate will be voting on this bill tomorrow. It is important that you contact the members of this committee IMMEDIATELY.
BLOG INFO is below….
Legislation introduced in the State Senate would require all regulations promulgated by local boards of health to be approved by the county commission in the jurisdiction prior to becoming effective. This bill, as proposed would also allow county commissioners to “…call up any policy of the county board of health existing prior to the enactment of this section during the 2016 Regular Session of the Legislature and approve, modify or void such policy.”
SB-284 was introduced by Senator Fernsh has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee and then to the Senate Government Organization Committee for consideration.
Passage of this legislation would politicize the important decision local boards of health make, including clean indoor air regulations, and strengthen the ability of special interest to block regulations which may be required to protect the health of the community.
The Coalition for a Tobacco Free West Virginia OPPOSES SB-284 and supports the protection of local boards of health to set health policies in communities throughout West Virginia.
Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
The West Virginia Legislature began the 2016 Session on Wednesday, January 13th and opened with a call by Governor Tomblin to increase the states excise tax on cigarettes 45 cents per pack and the tax on other tobacco products by 7.5%.
A tax increase this small would have negligible point impact on public health.
The Coalition for a Tobacco Free West Virginia and its partner organizations has been pushing for at least a $1.00 per pack increase on cigarettes. The state’s current cigarette tax is 55-cents a pack, nearly $1.00 below the national average. The governor’s plan would add only add 45-cents.
The governor has expressed concern about losing the business of out-of-state buyers of cigarettes in West Virginia if the tax is raised too much.
Several Legislators have expressed interest in raising the tobacco tax by at least $1 and legislation to do so has been introduced.
The governor’s proposed budget also slashes spending on tobacco prevention efforts in West Virginia from $4.2 million to $2.4 million, a nearly 40 percent reduction.
The combination of a small tax increase and eliminate funding for the programs put into place to help current users quit would assure West Virginia’s tobacco use rate will not decline.