Protect Public Health, Increase Tobacco Tax By More Than $0.36

Protect Public Health, Increase Tobacco Tax By More Than $0.36

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Brooklyn Larimore started this petition to llinehan@leg.ne.gov and

The Nebraska Legislature is considering several different proposals to significantly increase the tobacco tax, which would be a major step in protecting public health in Nebraska. LB614 proposed an initial $1.50 increase per pack on cigarettes. However, instead of the initial $1.50 increase, the Revenue Committee is considering only increasing the tax to $1.00 total (meaning an increase of only $0.36). 

It is proven that increases in cigarette taxes by at least $1.00 per pack reflect a decrease in overall consumption. According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Nebraska has the tenth lowest per pack tax at only 64-cents, compared to the national average of $1.79. Nebraska's smoking rates are denotative of this, as 15.4% of adults and 7.4% of high school students who smoke. A 10-percent increase in price of cigarettes leads to a 3-5% decrease in overall cigarette use, as found by the Truth Initiative on the importance of tobacco taxes. Even further, youth are up to three times more sensitive to price changes than adults, so it is imperative to increase Nebraska's tobacco tax. 

If the proposed increase of 36-cents per pack were to be enacted, it would have no impact on reducing tobacco use. At least $1.00 increase is key in protecting public health, as well as mitigating the tobacco industry's efforts to offset tax increases using coupons and discounts.

Take action now by using your voice and contacting the members of the Revenue Committee, expressing the importance of a more significant increase in protecting public health in Nebraska. Committee Member emails can be found above after "Petition to...", or at http://news.legislature.ne.gov/rev/.

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