It’s been decades of battles within our states’ legislators and lawmakers about the cigarette tax. A new study makes some very interesting points about how tobacco companies can impact the number of smokers within certain states.
Tobacco companies have powerful lobbyists and the money and fortitude to fight just about every bill that comes up in the legislative body that could possible curb the sales of their companies—whether it be through raising taxes or some other form of regulating tobacco use.
For instance, this past spring the Montana state le2gislators were set to raise cigarette tax. Enter the tobacco lobbyists, who poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into wining and dining Republican leaders. The bill died on the floor—even the original sponsors of the bill voted against it.
The alternate side says that raising taxes on tobacco is a very effective way to reduce the use of tobacco. The U.S. Surgeon General, the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have all said that raising taxes can assist smokers in their quest to quit. All these organizations are advocates of this type of action.
Many states have not raised taxes or fees on tobacco for decades, and because of this, smokers are concentrated in states where cigarettes are cheaper. For example, due to a recent tax hike in New York, a pack of cigarettes will soon cost upwards of $13. Alternatively, in Kentucky, a pack will cost just $4.77. Interestingly, Kentucky has the highest number of smokers.
Experts indicated that this large gap in prices is the result of the battle between health advocates and tobacco companies. Health experts also say that low-tax states suffer higher rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and many other tobacco related diseases.
Health advocates often stand on the side of higher taxes for several reasons. The most obvious one is that it will lower smoking rates. Other reasons are that these taxes can increase revenue, along with reducing healthcare costs. Additionally, the cigarette tax are incentives for quitting, especially among vulnerable groups like pregnant women, younger people, and low-income populations.
At Laser Lipo and Vein Center, we understand the dangers of smoking and we urge all our patients to quit. We can even implement steps that can make this process easier and more successful. Please give us a call today for more information.