The new two year state budget brings a small victory for tobacco prevention. The tax on little cigars will increase from 17% of wholesale price to 37% of wholesale, as of October 1st. This will make the tax on little cigars equal to that of cigarettes.
Little cigars are often used by kids and come in flavors such as watermelon, strawberry and grape. It is estimated the tax increase will result in a 25% reduction in use by youth.
While it still leaves other tobacco products such as the new dissolvable and other kid friendly flavored products with a cheap tax, it is a great step in addressing youth use. We will continue to work to address the low tax on these products. In addition, work will continue to address the need for adequate funding for comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programming.
However, this victory wouldn't be possible without grassroots support. Your messages and visits with legislators increased awareness of the issue and made a difference. Thank you for your support!