Higher Cigarette Taxes Cut Health Costs

ATLANTA, April 8 (UPI) — Taxes on cigarettes reduce cigarette use and as a result reduce smoking-related diseases, healthcare costs and death, U.S. health officials report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, said in 2009, the national average cigarette excise taxes ranged from 7 cents per pack in South Carolina to $3.46 per pack in Rhode Island.

In 2009, national average state excise tax increased from $1.18 per pack in 2008 to $1.34 per pack.

“Increasing cigarette excise taxes is one of the most reliable, cost-effective tobacco control policies,” the report said.

In an accompanying report, CDC officials said to address the state excise tax increases some cigarette manufacturers use discounts, coupons and other promotions to reduce the price of their cigarettes.

A CDC report found that as of Dec. 31, 24 states and the district of Columbia had laws that set a minimum price for cigarettes.

“These minimum price laws can help states preserve the effect excise tax increases have on cigarette prices and counteract price manipulations by cigarette manufacturers that target youth and lower-income individuals,” the report said.

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