"The legislators were getting hammered with emails and phone calls around this issue," said Amanda Cahill, a lobbyist for the American Heart Association, which also supported the bill.
How Big Tobacco stopped a smoking tax in 'Marlboro Country' →
"I was really shocked. There are certainly a lot of arguments that Republicans can make against tax increases, but I wasn't expecting this one," she said. "It's a way of saying we don't need to take care of people who made bad choices."
Senate endorses bill to increase tobacco taxes →