Study Says State Cigarette Taxes Deter Smoking
DENVER (Reuters) - Tax hikes on cigarettes imposed recently by states and cities across the United States is not only helping their coffers but is proving a strong deterrent to smoking, an anti-tobacco group said on Monday.
"In several states, consumption declined 20 percent or more and new revenues in the millions of dollars were still realized," the Smokeless States National Tobacco Policy Initiative said in a study to be presented at the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting in Denver.
New York City led the way with a $1.42 tax hike that put cigarettes at $7, but less drastic increases also produce healthy results, the groups found in its study.
An increase in the price of cigarettes of only 10 percent reduces cigarette consumption among teens by 7 percent, the study said. The anti-tobacco group argues that higher taxes will keep teens from smoking, resulting in fewer deaths from tobacco related illnesses and reductions in future healthcare costs.
Four states passed higher cigarette taxes last year, and 16 states plus Puerto Rico have increased their tax since January of this year.
The anti-tobacco group is a program established by the American Medical Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
State lawmakers will also be told that crossing a state line for a cheaper pack of cigarettes only accounts for one percent of all smuggling and that two-thirds of all cigarettes sold in the United States are sold as single packs.