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Study: Tax hike would cut smoking, raise revenue

5:54 AM, Aug 17, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A new study argues that Georgia could cut smoking by 20 percent and yield almost $400 million in additional tax revenues with a $1 pack increase in cigarette taxes.

University of Georgia professor James MacKillop did the research. He is a psychologist who specializes in behavioral economics, the study of what makes individuals act in certain ways in the marketplace.

MacKillop based his results on assessments of 1,056 smokers in Georgia, Rhode Island and South Carolina. The study measured reactions to various prices, with the cost ranging from free to $20 per pack.

Georgia's current cigarette tax is 37 cents per pack. The average pack in Georgia costs $4.37. Both are among the lowest rates nationally.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded MacKillop's research.

(Associated Press)

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