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Media Statement

Pennsylvania 15th State Excise Tax

For Immediate Release: October 30, 2009
Contact: CDC Division of Media Relations, Phone: (404) 639-3286


Today Pennsylvania became the 15th state in the country (including D.C.) to raise its cigarette tax in 2009.  Pennsylvania increased the state excise tax on cigarettes by 25 cents to $1.60 per pack. The national average for cigarette taxes is $1.34 per pack.  Rhode Island is the state with the highest taxes on cigarettes at $3.46 per pack.

The U.S. Surgeon General concluded that raising tobacco taxes is one of the most effective tobacco prevention and control strategies. Specifically, the Surgeon General's 2000 Report, Reducing Tobacco Use, found that increasing the price of tobacco products would decrease the prevalence of tobacco use, particularly among youths and young adults, and that tobacco excise tax increases would lead to substantial long-term improvements in health.  For example, a 10% increase in the real price of cigarettes is estimated to reduce consumption by nearly 4%.

As a funding mechanism for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the federal excise tax on cigarettes also increased earlier this year on April 1, 2009, increasing the Federal tax on cigarettes from 39 cents per pack to $1.01 per pack.

The states that have increased taxes on cigarettes in 2009 include:

  • Arkansas $1.15 from 59 cents
  • Connecticut $3.00 from $2.00
  • Delaware $1.60 from $1.15
  • District of Columbia $2.50 from $2.00
  • Florida $1.339 from 33.9 cents
  • Hawaii $2.60 from $2
  • Kentucky 60 cents from 30 cents
  • Mississippi 68 cents from 18 cents
  • New Hampshire $1.78 from $1.33
  • New Jersey $2.70 from $2.575
  • North Carolina 45 cents from 35 cents
  • Pennsylvania $1.60 from $1.35
  • Rhode Island $3.46 from $2.46
  • Vermont $2.24 from $1.99
  • Wisconsin $2.52 from $1.77

 

For more information please visit:

  1. CDC. Reducing tobacco use: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2000. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/sgr_2000/index.htm.
  2. Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Guide to community preventive services: tobacco use prevention and control. Am J Prev Med 2001;20(2 Suppl 1):1--87.
  3. CDC. Federal and State Cigarette Excise Taxes --- United States, 1995—2009. MMWR. 2009 / 58(19);524-527
  4. CDC’s State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/statesystem.

 

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