04/05/2013 – John R. Seffrin, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) has released a statement in support of the Obama Administration’s proposed tobacco tax hike.
“ACS CAN applauds President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products in the FY 2014 budget. A significant increase in the tobacco tax could have a dramatic impact on the public health of our nation by preventing disease and premature deaths and reducing health care costs associated with tobacco use.
“Raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective approaches to encouraging people to quit and preventing kids from picking up the deadly habit in the first place. In fact, research has consistently shown that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by 6.5 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. By discouraging tobacco use through increased prices, we can reduce the serious health care costs associated with using these deadly products, which total more than $96 billion a year.
“The current federal tobacco tax is just over $1, last increased by 61 cents in 2009. A 2012 report by the Congressional Budget Office projected that a 50-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax would generate $41 billion over 10 years.
“Tobacco use is the nation’s most preventable cause of death, yet more than 443,000 Americans will die from smoking-related diseases this year. By increasing the tobacco tax, our lawmakers have the ability to change the price of tobacco products and prevent more children from getting addicted.
“A federal tobacco tax increase would complement ongoing tobacco tax campaigns at the local and state level, which are critical to comprehensive tobacco control efforts across the country. ACS CAN will continue to urge state lawmakers to increase tobacco taxes to improve the health of residents in their state.
“ACS CAN commends the president for his efforts to improve public health, and encourages members of Congress to seize the opportunity to increase taxes on all tobacco products. We look forward to working with both the president and Congress to pass a meaningful, lifesaving tobacco tax increase this year.”
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.