Minnesota's largest doctor group says it is time to raise the state's tax on tobacco products.
That's one issue the Minnesota Medical Association will advocate for when the state legislature goes into session Jan. 8.
Raising the tax carries at least two benefits, said Dave Renner of the MMA.
"From our point of view, not only does it raise the state a lot of money, but more importantly it has a direct impact on smokers, especially among young, teenaged smokers," Renner said. "By increasing the cost of product, you see a drastic drop in number of cigarettes smoked."
In fiscal year 2011, the state projected that raising the tax by 25 cents per pack would raise an additional $50 million.
The MMA will also push for the state to expand its Medicaid program, an option under the federal health care law.