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PORTLAND, Ore. -- When Oregon lawmakers meet in a special session this month to try to deal with an $880-million budget shortfall, they will look at the possibility of increasing the tobacco tax. And they will have plenty of company.
John Chism of the American Heart Association says more than 25 other states are considering similar increases.
Governor John Kitzhaber is a strong advocate of such an increase, as well as a boost in the tax on alcohol.
Recent polls indicate 65 percent of Oregonians favor raising the tax on tobacco. Opponents say it puts an added burden on lower-income residents.