Advocates from across Connecticut gathered in Hartford Wednesday to lobby for an increase in the state's cigarette tax.
Representatives from the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association released the results of a statewide poll showing support for a higher cigarette tax.
The results, according to the poll, said 70 percent of voters support raising the tax, which is currently $3.40 a pack.
The group wants to see a 95-cent increase in the current cigarette tax as part of the budget, which they said would generate $50 million in revenue for the state.
Paul Collins, of East Hartford, told Eyewitness News when he stops smoking, he said it will be because of his health, not the cost of cigarettes.
The American Lung Association said the smoking-related healthcare costs in Connecticut alone are more than $1.5 billion a year.
Anti-smoking groups said they feel we need to be doing a lot more to stop children from smoking and they support more taxes.
However, they say if you don't raise the price enough, it won't be a deterrent for smokers to quit.
"We are not going to get everyone to quit, but when you look at all the costs related to smoking, it's the single most preventable cost," said Kevin O'Flaherty of campaign for Tobacco-free Kids. "We should do everything we can to reduce."
Some people in Connecticut are not worried about the tax increase.
"People are still going to buy cigarettes," said Gina Khalifi, who owns a smoke shop in East Hartford.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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