States' efforts to boost cigarette taxes slows: CDC

March 29, 2012
States' efforts to boost cigarette taxes slows: CDC
Agency says more can be done to raise the cost of smoking, which is known to boost quit rates.

(HealthDay) -- Although eight states boosted their sales taxes on cigarettes over the past two years, that's a decline in the number of such increases by states compared to 2009, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

One thing that experts know from accumulated data is that smoking rates decline as cigarette prices go up, the said.

"Increasing cigarette excise taxes directly increases the price of cigarettes, thereby reducing the demand for cigarettes and, ultimately, smoking-related death and disease," the report's authors wrote in the March 29 issue of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reoprt.

However, between 2010 and 2011, eight states (Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont and Washington) boosted cigarette taxes, compared to 15 states that had done so in 2009, the report noted.

Overall, the national average cigarette excise tax in the United States has risen -- from $1.34 per pack of 20 cigarettes in 2009 to $1.46 per pack in 2011. At the end of 2011, taxes ranged from a high of $4.35 per pack in New York to a low of 17 cents per pack in Missouri.

New York charted the steepest rise in cigarette taxes over the past two years, pushing up the price by $1.60 per pack.

Cigarette taxes rose even in major tobacco-growing states: The mean cigarette tax in six major tobacco growing states (Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) increased from 40 cents a pack in 2009 to 49 cents a pack in 2011, the report found.

Not all states' tax changes were increases, however: In 2011, New Hampshire decreased its cigarette excise tax by 10 cents per pack. It was the first time since 2004 that a state had decreased its cigarette excise tax.

In some states, cigarette haven't budged for years, the CDC said. California, Missouri and North Dakota remain the only states that have not increased their state cigarette excise taxes since 2000. Missouri and North Dakota have not raised their state cigarette excise taxes since 1993, and California has not raised its cigarette excise tax since 1998.

States that forgo raising may also be missing out on a good source of revenue, the CDC noted.

"In addition to reducing smoking rates, cigarette excise tax increases have been shown to increase state revenue despite consumption declines, increases in the number of smokers quitting and any increase in smuggling or tax avoidance," the CDC said in an editorial. These added funds, "can provide a revenue source to fund and expand comprehensive state tobacco control programs."

According to the CDC, channeling tax revenues to tobacco control efforts can be a money-saver for . For example, the agency noted, "during the first 15 years of the California program, the state invested $1.8 billion in cigarette excise tax revenue in the program, resulting in $86 billion in health care cost savings."

Explore further: States could see substantial savings with tobacco control programs

More information: The American Lung Association has more about preventing smoking.

Related Stories

States could see substantial savings with tobacco control programs

November 28, 2011
States that have shifted funds away from tobacco control programs may be missing out on significant savings, according to a new study co-authored by San Francisco State University economist Sudip Chattopadhyay.

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.