Lung Association Applauds New Cook County Cigarette Tax

(March 1, 2013)

CHICAGO, IL  – The American Lung Association in Greater Chicago applauds the new $1/pack cigarette tax which will go into effect today in Cook County. Included in Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s new budget, the increase brings the total tax collected on cigarettes in Cook County to $3 per pack, resulting in important public health benefits and substantial savings in healthcare costs for the county.

“One of the absolute best things people can do for their health is to never smoke or stop smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer,” said Meghan Miller, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago. “The American Lung Association stands behind this increase in the cigarette tax, which we know will have a positive impact on reducing youth and adult smoking.”

Projected health benefits and cost savings from the proposed $1/pack tax include:

  • 7.2% decrease in youth smoking
  • 18,400 youth in Cook County avoid becoming addicted adult smokers
  • 16,100 adults smokers quit smoking
  • $640.6 million in long-term healthcare cost savings from declines in smoking

Prior to this increase, Cook County had not increased their cigarette tax since 2006