Supporters of higher cigarette tax rally at State Capitol

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Supporters of a higher cigarette tax in Kentucky rallied at the State Capitol in Frankfort Thursday.

The rally was organized by the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Tomorrow.

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Organizers say a tax increase might help some people you might not expect.

“If there’s a ten-percent increase in the cost of cigarettes, there’s an 18-percent decrease in tobacco consumption among price-sensitive people with mental illnesses,” said Dr. Chizimuzo Okoli from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.

Rally organizers say studies show people with some mental problems, including schizophrenia, are more likely to turn to cigarette smoking.  They say a tax hike would discourage it.