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Springfield expansion of medical school depends on tobacco tax

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 | 8:03 a.m. CDT; updated 1:14 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SPRINGFIELD — The University of Missouri's planned medical school expansion with a second, clinical campus in Springfield won't happen without an increase in the state's lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax.

That was the message from university leaders at a Wednesday news conference to support raising the cigarette tax from the current 17 cents per pack to 90 cents. Voters will consider the ballot measure known as Proposition B in Tuesday's general election.

The Columbia-based School of Medicine wants to provide third- and fourth-year medical students with experience treating patients at CoxHealth and St. John's Hospital in southwest Missouri.

The cigarette tax hike is expected to generate nearly $300 million each year, with most of the revenue going toward public schools and higher education.


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