Why Are States Not Increasing The Cigarette Tax?

The Centers For Disease Control Says That States are Behind In Increasing the Cigarette Tax

One of the best ways to help cut smoking is by boosting cigarette prices. However, a CDC report indicates fewer states are doing that.

15 states in 2009 raised their excise taxes, but only 8 states in both 2011 and 2010 did the same. While New Hampshire decreased it. The report states that increasing the tax reduces overall demand and helps stop teen from beginning. Only 1 in 5 teens smoke, but there is a drop-off of the decline.

The report mentions that the national tax on cigarettes is now at $1.46 per pack in 2011, up from $1.34 per pack in 2009. NY has the record with $4.35, with Missouri at the bottom with $0.17.

Joseph Califano of NCASA states that it is great that a pack of cigarettes in NY is $10.50, but he goes on to say that it should be $100.

Why are they reluctant to raise state taxes on cigarettes? Many of the states who raised cigarette taxes also increased funding for tobacco prevention programs.

Healthcare officials believe that the bad economy may have something to do with the states backing off of funding for tobacco control. Dr. McAfee does not believe this. He says that there is ample evidence that the programs and higher taxes work and that the states will recoup their investments. He says that the states are not getting the full benefit from the cigarette taxes that they could be getting.


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