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franklin county times

Organizations work to snuff out tobacco

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Nov. 16, 2002
Mississippi smokers may have to dig deeper into their pockets for cigarette money in the near future.
The Communities for a Clean Bill of Health, a coalition of community and state-based organizations including the American Cancer Society  is pushing for a 50-cent excise tax on each pack of cigarettes.
Traci Thoms, community program representative of the American Cancer Society, said the group will be lobbying for the tax when the Legislature convenes for its next regular session on Jan. 3.
Betty Lou Jones, a local volunteer with the American Cancer Society, said a public forum on the tax has been scheduled in Meridian for Dec. 10. The forum will be held at the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi, 1717 45th Ave., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Jones is also promoting the American Cancer Society's 25th annual Great American Smokeout campaign, which is scheduled Thursday. The Smokeout is used to educate people on the harmful health risks associated with using tobacco products and to encourage people to quit using them.
Jones added that in recognition of the Great American Smokeout, representatives of the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi will petition the Meridian City Council on Tuesday to make city buildings and vehicles smoke-free.

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