The American Lung Association strongly supports efforts on the national, state and local levels to increase taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products. Increasing tobacco taxes can:

  • Keep kids from starting to use tobacco products
  • Help adults to quit
  • Provide funding for much-needed health programs

Increasing Cigarette and Tobacco Product Taxes

Increasing taxes on tobacco products is a win-win proposition: significantly increasing tobacco product taxes results in fewer kids starting to smoke, and in more adults quitting while at the same time providing substantial revenue to fund important health, as well as tobacco prevention programs. Every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces consumption by about four percent among adults and about seven percent among youth.1

Funding Critical Health Programs

Federal Level: On the federal level, revenue from cigarette and tobacco taxes helps fund programs that support children and adults across the country, including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP provides health insurance to many children in the U.S. who would otherwise be uninsured.

Federal tobacco taxes were last increased in 2009, with the cigarette tax being increased by $0.62 per pack. The current federal cigarette tax is $1.01 per pack. The American Lung Association supports increasing the federal cigarette tax and making federal tax rates on other tobacco products equal to the cigarette tax.

State and local communities: Revenue from state and local tobacco tax increases can and should be used to fund state tobacco control programs.

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have increased their cigarette taxes since 2002, many more than once. However, progress on increasing cigarette taxes at the state level has largely stalled out in recent years. The average state cigarette tax was $1.93 per pack as of January 1, 2024. 

State taxes on other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, should be equivalent to the cigarette tax. Six states – California, Colorado, Maine, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming – have taxes on other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes that are equivalent to the cigarette tax as of January 1, 2024.

  1. Tauras JA, O'Malley PM, Johnston LD, "Effects of Price and Access Laws on Teenage Smoking Initiation: A National Longitudinal Analysis," Bridging the Gap Research, ImpacTeen, April 2001. Available at: https://impacteen.uic.edu/access.htm

Page last updated: May 2, 2024

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