Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win-Win for Cash-Strapped States

Source: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, February 10, 2010

From the summary:
By increasing cigarette taxes by $1 per pack, the states could raise more than $9 billion in new annual revenue to help close severe budget shortfalls, while also reducing smoking and saving lives, according to a new report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.

A national poll released along with the report finds that 67 percent of voters support a $1 tobacco tax increase. The poll also found that voters far prefer higher tobacco taxes to other options, such as other tax increases or budget cuts, for addressing state budget deficits.

The report details the revenue and health benefits to each state of increasing its cigarette tax by $1 per pack. If every state and Washington, D.C., did so, they would:

* Raise $9.1 billion in new annual revenue;
* Prevent more than 2.3 million kids from becoming smokers;
* Prompt more than 1.2 million adult smokers to quit;
* Prevent more than 1 million premature, smoking-caused deaths; and
* Save $52.8 billion in health care costs.

Leave a Reply