Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Budget Crisis: What about increasing the tobacco tax?

State legislators are hosting town hall forums across the state from to ask Minnesotans for their ideas on how to solve the budget crisis.

The American Heart Association and our public health partners need your help to raise awareness around the benefits of an increase in the tobacco tax. Not only would this help raise important revenue for the state of Minnesota, it would also save lives and help prevent heart disease and stroke.

We are targeting five communities- Brainerd, Forest Lake, Mankato, Rochester, and Willmar. If you live in one of these communities, we strongly encourage you to attend your community forum and report back to us!

Sample question: I am a [heart disease/stroke survivor or caregiver or health care professional]. I think an increase in the tobacco tax would be a good way to raise needed revenue. It would also help address some major health care issues, including preventing many chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. [Include short personal story here].

$1.00 increase would:
Raise between $90-150 million
Decrease youth smoking by 13.3% and cause 19,500 adults to quit
Save 19,300 Minnesotans from premature smoking-caused death
Save $8 million from fewer smoking-caused heart attacks & strokes over five years

Friday, February 20th - 10:30 a.m.
Washington Educational Services Building-Board Room
804 Oak Street
Sign up to speak at this location

Forest Lake
Thursday, February 26 - 6:30 p.m.
Forest Lake City Hall
220 N. Lake St
Sign up to speak at this location

Thursday, February 19th - 6:00 p.m.
Mankato Intergovernmental Center-Mankato River Room
10 Civic Center Plaza
Sign up to speak at this location

Thursday, February 19th - 6:00 p.m.
Rochester Community and Technical College-Heintz Center Commons Area
1926 Collegeview Road SE
Sign up to speak at this location

Thursday, February 19th - 6:00 p.m.
Kennedy Elementary School
824-7th Street SW
Sign up to speak at this location

Click here for more information the toll of tobacco in Minnesota
Click here for more information about the town hall forums

Please let me know if you attend a forum and raise the tobacco tax idea so we can track our progress. Email me at

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