Kentucky health advocates are pushing lawmakers to increase the state's cigarette tax.
Supporters of a 70 cent increase in the tax spoke in favor of legislation in the capital rotunda on Wednesday morning.
Kentucky currently has a 30 cent tax and backers of House Bill 443 say the increase will save thousands of lives and pump 240 million dollars into the state's budget each year. Doctors say the tax will also stop kids from smoking.
Pediatrician, Dr. Julia Richardson says, "I have a 12 year old patient who smokes. All I can offer her is encouragement until she grows up and becomes more addicted to tobacco and then she can try medicines to combat her addiction."
The national average tax on a pack of cigarettes is currently more than a dollar.