The House Tax committee held a hearing on HB 2231 on March 15 at 3:30 p.m. to support tax increases on tobacco products, which would also increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation. Supporters of the effort are proposing a $1.50 increase on cigarettes, an increase on other tobacco products and a $5 million fund for tobacco prevention and cessation.
KHF is supportive of this effort to reduce tobacco use in Kansas. Currently 17.2% of Kansas adults smoke. We also know that tobacco use affects many groups across Kansas — pregnant women (and low birthweight babies), children being exposed to second-hand smoke, youth who begin smoking, individuals with mental illness, lower-income Kansans, minorities and long-term smokers.
The Kansas Health Foundation is based in Wichita, but statewide in its focus. With a mission to improve the health of all Kansans, KHF envisions a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play. To achieve this, KHF focuses its work in four impact areas: access to affordable health care, healthy behaviors, civic and community engagement and educational attainment. During our 30-year history, we have provided more than $500 million in grants to Kansas communities and organizations, and look forward to many more years of working toward our mission and vision.
Every month, our electronic newsletter, Health Happenings, features a story about a focus area, grant, partnership or program involving the Foundation.