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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in North Dakota. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by North Dakota's elected officials:

  1. Raise the state tobacco tax currently at 44 cents per pack; and
  2. Raise the sales age for all tobacco products to 21 years old.
There was no state legislative session in North Dakota during 2018. Funding for the state's tobacco control program in fiscal year 2019 remained almost identical to fiscal year 2018 under the two-year state budget approved in 2017. However, due to the elimination of the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy in 2017 by the legislature, funding remains over $3 million dollars below previous levels.

North Dakota has the fourth lowest cigarette tax in the country at 44 cents per pack, a lower tax on cigarettes than several tobacco-growing states. The tax has not been raised since 1993. This low tax significantly hinders efforts in North Dakota to reduce tobacco use among youth.

The American Lung Association in North Dakota will continue its work in 2019 to educate both state and local decision makers about the benefits of a higher tobacco tax and increasing the sales age for tobacco products to 21

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