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Media Statement

For Immediate Release: October 1, 2009
Contact: Division of News & Electronic Media, Office of Communication
(404) 639-3286

Connecticut Becomes Second Highest Cigarette Tax in U.S.

Today, Connecticut became the latest state in the country to raise its cigarette tax in 2009, as it increased the state excise tax on cigarettes by $1 to $3 per pack. The tax on cigarettes also increased today in the District of Columbia by 50 cents to $2.50 per pack.  With this increase, Connecticut's cigarette tax became the second highest in the country, only behind Rhode Island which taxes 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 39 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
  • 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
  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


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