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A move to increase Maryland’s cigarette tax by $1 per pack is already gaining momentum for the 2015 Maryland General Assembly session after failing to get enough support from state lawmakers earlier this year.

On Wednesday, a coalition of health care advocates claimed to have signed up more than 200 candidates running for state office this year who pledged their support to raise the cigarette tax by a buck. That’s enough signatures, they say, to almost virtually ensure the tax hike will be approved next year.

And our prediction is that it probably will — particularly since the general election will be over. Lawmakers have four years to explain why they supported a tax hike that critics say is regressive and hits lower-income Marylanders who can afford it the least.