South Carolina - with Gov. Sanford still in office most likely no tobacco tax increase in 2010..

December 13, 2009 - South Carolina House impeachment panel (seven members) rejected a measure to impeach Governor Mark Sanford, making it unlikely the governor will be removed from office.

In 2008, the South Carolina legislature passed a bill that would have raised the tax to 47 cents per pack of cigarettes. But Gov. Mark Sanford vetoed it, and lawmakers sustained his veto. Sanford has vowed to veto any bill that doesn't offset a cigarette tax increase with a cut in taxes. (South Carolina - governor disappears, maybe its time to slip through a cigarette tax..)

South Carolina is the only state in the nation that has failed to pass a recent cigarette excise tax increase. Currently the state has the shameful distinction of having the nation's lowest state cigarette tax, at 7 cents a pack, where it's been since 1977 (32 years).

SC General Assembly convenes second Tuesday in January of each year hopefully things will be different this time.

South Carolina fell six spots – from 42nd to 48th – in the 2008 ranking of the healthiest states by the United Health Foundation. The state's best and worst category rankings: Prevalence of binge drinking – 14th, Immunization coverage – 17th, Children (under 18) in poverty – 42nd, Occupational fatalities – 43rd, Infectious disease – 43rd, Premature death – 44th, Prevalence of obesity – 44th, Infant mortality – 45th, High school graduation – 49th (60.1 percent of ninth graders eventually graduate), Violent crime – 50th. (How healthy is living in South Carolina?)

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