The U.S. Surgeon General, in The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress, released in January 2014 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking in 1964, concluded that “increases in the prices of tobacco products, including those resulting from excise tax increases, prevent initiation of tobacco use, promote cessation and reduce the prevalence and intensity of tobacco use among youth and adults.”
Research has clearly demonstrated that as the price of cigarettes increases, consumption decreases. For each 10% price increase, it is estimated that consumption drops by about 7% for youth and 3 to 5% for adults. Increasing taxes on tobacco products other than cigarettes is also important as while rates of cigarette smoking are declining, rates of cigar smoking, and smokeless tobacco use are stagnant or increasing. In a number of states, rates of cigar smoking among youth exceed rates of cigarette smoking.
Starting with “State of Tobacco Control 2015,” taxes on tobacco products other than cigarettes were incorporated into the grading system. The grading system also was switched to a points-based system, with the level of state’s cigarette tax worth up to 30 possible points and taxes on other tobacco products worth up to 10 possible points, for a total of 40 points available in the grading category.
Page last updated: January 26, 2022