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 smoke
- Help adults to quit
- Provide funding for much-needed health programs
Increasing Cigarette and Tobacco Product Taxes
Increasing taxes on cigarettes is a win-win proposition: significantly increasing cigarette 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.
The Lung Association has had great success recently in increasing the price of tobacco products as 48 states and the District of Columbia have increased their cigarette taxes since 2002, many more than once. The average state cigarette tax was $1.81 per pack as of October 2018.
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: March 25, 2020