Iowa Lawmakers Debate Cigarette Tax at Forum

Lawmakers were also praised for passing the cigarette tax. Siouxland Cares says Quitline Iowa calls have grown from 15-hundRed calls last year to...

The numbers of meth labs in Iowa have dropped by 90-percent in the last three years. In a forum with Siouxland Cares and Iowa lawmakers today, Siouxland Cares president attributes the decrease to the pseudoephedrine law passed in Iowa. Another topic coveRed, the keg registration passed by lawmakers. Officials say while keg buyers in Woodbury and Plymouth counties are not violating the law, there are problem areas in other parts of Iowa. Carolyn Goodwin, Sioux City Mayor's Youth Commission says, "Where they take the tags off or where they are serving to minors. And the keg registration is helping us to directly address those who bought those beer kegs so the law had a purpose that had a direct result." Lawmakers were also praised for passing the cigarette tax. Siouxland Cares says Quitline Iowa calls have grown from 15-hundRed calls last year to five-thousand calls this year. And the Iowa Department of Public Health says the number of tobacco sales in Iowa has decreased by 30-percent. But House Minority Leader, Christopher Rants, who voted against the tax increase, spoke up about that statistic. Rep. Christopher Rants, (R) Sioux City says, "I don't think you can assume that there's actually been a 30-percent Reduction in smoking in Iowa because of that. It's nowhere near that. That's why the state of Iowa is now spending money on billboards saying if you smuggle Cigarettes into Iowa you will be fined up to $45 a pack." Siouxland Cares also pointed out how More money is needed to pay people who work in substance abuse programs. They say a person with a college degree will make less than a teacher.

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