Nation IN BRIEF : NATIONWIDE : Higher Cigarette Tax Favored, Poll Finds

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Seventy-three percent of adults favor raising taxes on cigarettes to help pay for changes in the U.S. health system, according to a Gallup survey commissioned by health groups. President Clinton is expected to propose raising the 24-cent federal tax on cigarettes as part of his plan to control health costs and guarantee coverage for all Americans. The American Heart Assn., the American Lung Assn. and the American Cancer Society said the survey supports their lobbying campaign for a $2-per-pack health tax on cigarettes. The Gallup Organization surveyed 1,015 adults by telephone March 15-24. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. About 25% of Americans smoke, according to government studies.

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