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Taxing Tobacco

Health care advocates are determined to make their issue the issue of the upcoming elections for governor and General Assembly.

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, released a new poll this week, showing two-thirds of likely voters - 66 percent - favor a $1 increase in the tobacco tax to increase access to health care for uninsured Maryland residents.

The proposal, which failed in the legislature this session, would double the tax on a pack of cigarettes. And DeMarco's coalition will ask candidates to take a position on the issue soon after the July filing deadline.

The poll of 1,214 likely voters, conducted between March 31 and April 5, also found "a candidate's position on this issue could have an enormous impact on its own," DeMarco said.

The survey by Steve Raabe of Opinion Works has a sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.

By Ann Marimow  |  May 4, 2006; 6:07 AM ET
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