Check out this great editorial from Forum management on the recently increased Minnesota tobacco tax.
Opponents of Minnesota’s new tobacco tax seem to believe the $2.83 per pack of cigarettes tax is about only revenue and business. It’s not. It’s first and foremost about public health.
While the tax has had expected impacts on revenue and business since it went into effect July 1, its primary purpose is to discourage smoking. The tax is having the predicted results: Sales of cigarettes are down. Early evidence suggests the steep rise in the tax will generate a corresponding decline in smoking. That has been the experience of every other state that raised its cigarette tax substantially. Young smokers or potential smokers are especially sensitive to price.
Even as sales of cigarettes slipped as the tax took hold, revenue increased, as forecast. The tax is up 30 percent, after all. Some of that additional revenue will be used to fund the new Vikings stadium. Read the rest of the story here.