New report shows state lagging on increasing cigarette taxes

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that some states did not enact cigarette tax in 2011. It has been proven that cigarette tax not only increases revenue but also reduces smoking, especially among children.

According to the report, only three states enacted a small cigarette tax in 2011, the fewest number of states since 2000. No state has enacted a cigarette tax in 2012 yet. On average, 10 states per year increased cigarette tax between 2001 and 2010.

The failure to implement a cigarette tax is causing further setbacks in the fight against the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. Unfortunately, funding for prevention programs has also decreased, with $260.5 million in the last four years. Smoke-free laws in public places such as restaurants and bars has also slowed down. The CDC believes that the states must do more to increase taxes on tobacco products if they want to see a significant decrease of a nasty habit.

Tobacco companies are against the cigarette tax and some have even gone to great lengths of stopping taxes as high as $1.25. Companies are spending anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to even millions of dollars to stop the cigarette tax from being enacted. However, the tobacco tax is a win-win-win for the states – “health win that reduces tobacco use and saves lives, a financial win that reduces tobacco-related health care costs and raises revenue to help fund essential programs, and a political win that polls show is popular with the voters,” President of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Matthew L. Myers said.

To read Myers’s article, click here.

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