Using tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in Vermont. Taxing tobacco products provides a win-win solution for Vermonters. Studies consistently demonstrate that increasing the price of tobacco products significantly reduces both adult and youth smoking. A 10 percent increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes can reduce adult smoking rates by 3-5% and youth smoking by about 7%. This decrease in smoking would save thousands of Vermonters from premature smoking-related deaths and save millions of dollars in health care costs. Increasing the cigarette tax rate by $1.50 per pack would decrease youth smoking by 13.4% and prevent 3,700 kids from becoming addicted adult smokers. It would save 2,100 residents from premature deaths caused by smoking.
Tobacco taxes are also a reliable source of revenue that can be used to further benefit smokers though tobacco prevention and cessation programs. In 2006, Vermont increased its cigarette tax by 60 cents raising $13.2 million in revenue over the following 12 months. Raising the current tax by $1.50 per pack would raise over $18 million per year in revenue.
Tobacco taxes are a win-win solution for Vermonters, decreasing adult and youth smoking, saving millions in health care costs, and increasing state revenue which can be used to further help smokers quit.
Vermonters Support a Tobacco Tax
Vermonters overwhelming support an increase in the tobacco tax. Results from polls in 2011 and 2013 show that over 75% of Vermonters support an increased tobacco tax. Support is widespread across demographic groups and crosses party lines.
New Revenues, Public Health Benefits & Cost Savings from a $1.25 Cigarette Tax Increase
Tax Parity Factsheet
Small Cigars Factsheet
Raising Cigarette Taxes Reduces Smoking
Tobacco Tax Increases are a Reliable Source of New State Revenue