Add $2 To The Cost Of A Pack Of Cigarettes...

The Clinton Administration is making no secret of its intention to call for a cigarette tax hike to help pay for health-care reform. The logic of such a tax hike seems impeccable. While the federal excise tax on cigarettes has declined 45% in real terms in the past 20 years, smoking has helped push up health-care spending--currently contributing to nearly a fifth of all deaths and costing the nation some $65 billion a year in health-care outlays and lost productivity.

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