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JOURNAL ARTICLE

State cigarette excise taxes - United States, 2009

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MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2010 April 9, 59 (13): 385-8
20379130
Increasing the price of cigarettes can reduce smoking substantially by discouraging initiation among youths and young adults, prompting quit attempts, and reducing average cigarette consumption among those who continue to smoke. Increasing cigarette excise taxes is one of the most effective tobacco control policies because it directly increases cigarette prices, thereby reducing cigarette use and smoking-related death and disease. All states and the District of Columbia (DC) impose an excise tax on cigarettes. Because many states increased their cigarette excise taxes in 2009, CDC conducted a survey of these tax increases. For this report, CDC reviewed data contained in a legislative database to identify cigarette excise tax legislation that was enacted during 2009 by the 50 states and DC. During that period, 15 states (including DC), increased their state excise tax on cigarettes, increasing the national mean from $1.18 per pack in 2008 to $1.34 per pack in 2009. However, none of the 15 states dedicated any of the new excise tax revenue by statute to tobacco control. Additionally, for the first time, two states (Connecticut and Rhode Island) had excise tax rates of at least $3.00 per pack. Additional increases in cigarette excise taxes, and dedication of all resulting revenues to tobacco control and prevention programs at levels recommended by CDC, could result in further reductions in smoking and associated morbidity and mortality.

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