Saturday, April 10, 2010

CDC: States Not Putting Cigarette Tax Funds Into Efforts To Curb Smoking

Although, the federal government and over a dozen states have increased taxes on cigarettes, according to the CDC none of that money is going to smoking prevention programs. The CDC made this startling announcement yesterday according to this Reuters report.

Increases in cigarette taxes ranged from 10 cents per pack in North Carolina to $1 in Connecticut, Florida and Rhode Island. The average 2009 increase was 52 cents per pack.

As a result of the tax increases in the 14 states and Washington, D.C., the average state cigarette tax rose from $1.18 per pack in 2008 to $1.34 per pack in 2009, according to CDC.

In a CDC report released Thursday, the agency wrote that "cigarette excise tax increases can be even more effective in reducing tobacco-related death and disease" when used in conjunction with other tobacco-control measures. CDC added, "A 10% increase in the price of cigarettes can reduce consumption by nearly 4% among adults and can have an even greater effect among youths and other price-sensitive groups."

American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said that state lawmakers can help improve both public health and state finances by dedicating money from cigarette taxes to tobacco prevention programs, which she noted in some cases can reduce smoking among youth by up to 40%.

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