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But revenues from the taxes generally are used to shore up state budgets, but not to build programs to prevent smoking or to help smokers quit. Earlier this week, the North American Quitline Consortium, a nonprofit organization, issued a report noting growing demand but diminishing funding for smoking quitlines.
CDC officials, in a second report released Thursday, noted that 25 states have laws that set a minimum price that can be charged for cigarettes. Those laws can help keep discounts from offsetting any tax increases, they said.
Cigarette manufacturers spent $12.5 billion on marketing and promotion of their products in 2006, and more than $9 billion of that was for reducing the price of a pack at the point of sale, according to an estimate cited by the CDC.
Philip Morris USA, however, said it has been cutting what it spends on promotions and advertising -- including coupons and discounts. Spending dropped by a third from 2003 to 2007, said spokesman Bill Phelps.
The Richmond-based company makes about half of the cigarettes sold in the United States.
Rather than raise taxes, legislators should spend more of what they already collect on preventing smoking and programs to help smokers quit, he added.
On the Net:
CDC reports: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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