CDC: States Not Putting Cigarette Tax Funds Into Efforts To Curb Smoking
Although 14 states and the District of Columbia boosted cigarette taxes in 2009, none of the revenue was reinvested in smoking and tobacco-use prevention programs, CDC announced on Thursday, Reuters reports (Allen, Reuters, 4/8).
Increases in cigarette taxes ranged from 10 cents per pack in North Carolina to $1 in Connecticut, Florida and Rhode Island. The average 2009 increase was 52 cents per pack (Stobbe, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/8).
As a result of the tax increases in the 14 states and Washington, D.C., the average state cigarette tax rose from $1.18 per pack in 2008 to $1.34 per pack in 2009, according to CDC.
In a CDC report released Thursday, the agency wrote that "cigarette excise tax increases can be even more effective in reducing tobacco-related death and disease" when used in conjunction with other tobacco-control measures. CDC added, "A 10% increase in the price of cigarettes can reduce consumption by nearly 4% among adults and can have an even greater effect among youths and other price-sensitive groups."
American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said that state lawmakers can help improve both public health and state finances by dedicating money from cigarette taxes to tobacco prevention programs, which she noted in some cases can reduce smoking among youth by up to 40% (Reuters, 4/8).
California's Proposed Ballot Initiative
In California, 2010 Oakland mayoral candidate and former Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D) is promoting a ballot initiative that would raise cigarette taxes by one dollar per pack to raise revenue for cancer research.Supporters of the initiative are working to get the measureÂ on the November ballot (California Healthline, 3/19). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.