The American Lung Association in New Jersey commends Governor Phil Murphy for proposing a $1.65 per pack increase in the price of cigarettes, in his proposed budget, released today. If enacted, New Jersey would join New York and Connecticut with the highest cigarette tax in the country.
“We applaud Governor Murphy for proposing a $1.65 per pack increase that will encourage more New Jerseyans to quit smoking or never start,” said Michael Seilback, National Assistant Vice President for State Public Policy of the American Lung Association. “Not only would the tax directly reduce smoking rates, the increase would help direct much-needed funds to the state’s tobacco control program. In New Jersey, approximately 13.1% of adults smoke, and tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in our state and the country. This cigarette tax increase, the first in more than 10 years, would be a major step forward for public health in our state, and ensure that fewer lives are lost to tobacco."
In the American Lung Association’s 2020 “State of the Tobacco Control” report, New Jersey received mixed grades for its tobacco prevention efforts. The state earned failing grades for its level of state tobacco taxes and for its funding of the state tobacco control program. "This is an important step in the right direction to protect the health of New Jerseyans," said Seilback.