Proposed Tobacco Tax Increase Would Help in the Fight Against Public Health Enemy No. 1

April 05, 2013 Categories: Advocacy News , Advisories & Comments

Washington, D.C., April 5, 2013 — Responding to a New York Times article earlier today, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on a potential increase in tobacco taxes that may be proposed by the Obama Administration in its 2014 budget:

“The American Heart Association would welcome a proposal in President Obama’s budget to raise taxes on all tobacco products.  Study after study has shown that the fastest way to encourage individuals to quit smoking, and keep others from ever starting, is to increase the cost of tobacco products.

The impact of a tax on cigarettes has been shown to decrease smoking rates in dramatic ways, including among youth populations.  It’s accepted that for every 10 percent boost in the real price of cigarettes there is a 3-5 percent decrease in cigarette consumption. That same price increase has been shown to cut smoking among children by up to 7 percent.

We must use all of the tools we have to defeat the public health menace that is tobacco.  A tobacco tax increase will be a strong incentive for current smokers to have their last cigarette and a convincing deterrent for individuals who are considering their very first cigarette.  The American Heart Association welcomes this news and looks forward to reviewing the specific details of this proposal when President Obama releases his budget next week.”

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 Contact: Chris Guizlo (202) 785-7935

              chris.guizlo@heart.org