1. Increase tobacco taxes;
2. Adopt a statewide, comprehensive smokefree law; and
3. Maintain funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
In 2016, Wyoming had a short legislative session focused almost exclusively on crafting the two year state budget for 2016 and 2017. Funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in Wyoming decreased slightly compared to the last two year state budget for 2014 and 2015 going from $4.6 million to $4.2 million per year. However, Wyoming remains one of only a handful of states that fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs at over 50 percent of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In past legislative sessions, the Wyoming Legislature has considered, but rejected legislation to increase Wyoming's excise tax on tobacco products, which stands at a meager 60 cents per pack currently. Raising Wyoming's cigarette tax by $1.25 per pack would raise over $50 million per two year period (biennium). This new revenue may become attractive to legislators who are looking for ways to compensate for lost revenue from a struggling minerals industry. The American Lung Association in Wyoming will be supporting increasing tobacco taxes in 2017 to reduce youth initiation and supports some of the new revenue being used to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs as well.