In her letter to the editor, dated Oct. 3, Ms. Robbins implies the proposed additional tobacco tax will translate into tobacco prevention and education programs in the schools. But before residents vote for or against the proposed ordinance, the Juneau Assembly should clearly indicate to voters if any of the funds will indeed go into local tobacco prevention and education programs. Moreover, the real question is: what percentage of that money would go into tobacco prevention and education programs?
At the state level, out of the more than $40 million generated each year from taxes on tobacco products, not one dime of that money goes into tobacco prevention and education programs. It all goes into the state's general revenue fund. As such, voters deserve a clear position from the Juneau Assembly on the percentage of the proposed tobacco tax that would actually go towards the type of programs that Ms. Robbins mentions in her letter.
Acting Project Manager,
North Slope Borough Tobacco Prevention & Control Program