As the WV Legislature works to address a significant budget shortfall, a new poll shows that 67 percent of West Virginia's voters support raising the tobacco tax by $1 per pack to help address this shortfall and fund programs to reduce tobacco use.
West Virginia’s current cigarette tax is 55 cents per pack, which ranks 44th in the nation and is well below the national average of $1.48 per pack. We know that for every 10% increase in the price of cigarettes, we see about a 4% decrease in adult smoking rates and a 7% reduction in youth smoking rates.
A $1 increase in West Virginia’s cigarette tax, along with an increase in the tax on other tobacco products like little cigars and chewing tobacco, would raise more than $140 million in new annual revenue for the state while significantly reducing use rates, particularly among our price-sensitive youth.
This is a win-win for West Virginia! Please urge your lawmakers to support a tobacco tax increase this session!