WASHINGTON, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The decision by the Massachusetts legislature to increase the state cigarette tax by $1 per pack and also increase the tax on other tobacco products as part of the transportation bill is a win-win for Massachusetts because it will save lives and increase state revenue. We look forward to Governor Deval Patrick signing this legislation into law.
We applaud legislative leaders for siding with kids over the tobacco industry by supporting the tobacco tax increase. The increase in the state tobacco tax rates makes it more important than ever that Massachusetts increases funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs. The new cigarette tax increase will motivate more smokers to quit and seek help in doing so. It's unfortunate that none of the new tobacco tax revenue is being allocated to fund programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit.
We also congratulate Tobacco Free Mass, the coalition that has fought tirelessly to reduce tobacco use and save lives in Massachusetts.The evidence is clear that increasing the cigarette tax is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about 6.5 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. Massachusetts can expect the $1 cigarette tax increase will:
- Prevent more than 27,200 Massachusetts kids from becoming smokers
- Spur more than 24,900 current adult smokers to quit
- Save more than 15,500 Massachusetts residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths
- Save more than $994 million in future health care costs.
- Raise about $118 million in new revenue.