48° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

Budget committee approves $50 tobacco use fee

Published On: May 21 2013 06:35:40 AM CDT
Updated On: May 21 2013 01:05:55 PM CDT


State workers who smoke would have to pay $50 more per month for health insurance under a Gov. Scott Walker proposal that has won approval by the Legislature's budget committee.

The Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 13-3 to approve the fee.

Twelve other states currently impose similar fees but anti-smoking groups including the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association oppose them because they argue they are not effective in reducing tobacco use.

Walker's administration says the fee is necessary because it estimates health care costs for tobacco users are about 35 percent higher than those who don't.

Workers could face a surcharge if they are caught lying about their tobacco use, but they could not lose their insurance coverage as originally proposed.

  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC


    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink


    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.