President Obama’s plan to raise the federal cigarette tax by 94 cents a pack would put two million low and middle-income kids through pre-school, a new report has concluded.
Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal calls for a near doubling of the tax, from $1.01 to $1.95 per pack, with the proceeds going toward an expansion of early childhood education. Taxes on other tobacco products would increase proportionally, bringing the estimated additional revenue to an estimated $78 billion over the next decade.
“Taken together, these two measures would help ensure a future of smart, healthy kids nationwide and in every state,” according to the report, released Wednesday by a coalition of nine public health and legal groups.
In the first year alone, almost 335,000 children from low and moderate-income families would gain access to high quality preschool programs, the study found. By the 10th year, that number would rise to two million.