WHEREAS, the use of tobacco products is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in North Carolina1; and
WHEREAS, Nearly 10,400 NC children will become regular daily smokers this year2; and
WHEREAS, the best way to prevent and reduce tobacco use by children is to substantially increase the cost of cigarettes3; and
WHEREAS, a cigarette tax increase of $1.00 would result in a 15.4% decrease in youth smoking rates, prevent 81,200 NC children from becoming addicted adult smokers and saving 39,100 young people from premature smoking-related deaths4; and
WHEREAS, NC’s cigarette tax is currently 45-cents, the 7th lowest in the nation, and the current average cigarette tax among all states is $1.45; and
WHEREAS, in contrast to NC’s low cigarette tax is the fact that for every pack sold in NC, it costs North Carolina taxpayers $7.17 per pack in health care costs to treat the serious chronic diseases brought on by cigarette smoking; and
WHEREAS, the use of tobacco products costs the State $2.46 billion in direct healthcare costs ($769 million in Medicaid expenses alone), and $3.3 billion in lost productivity annually4; and
WHEREAS, North Carolina faces another significant budget deficit for the FY2012-13 budget; and
WHEREAS, these deficits risk cuts to important programs affecting the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians and more reductions may be threatened; and
WHEREAS, an increase in the cigarette tax of $1.00 would generate an estimated $338.4 million in new revenue in the first year4.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the cigarette tax in North Carolina be increased by at least $1.00 a pack.
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 North Carolina Institute of Medicine, Task Force on Prevention, May 2008
 “The Toll of Tobacco in NC,” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: http://tobaccofreekids.org/reports/settlements/toll.php?StateID=NC
 D Hopkins & J Fielding: The Guide to Community Preventive Services: Tobacco Use Prevention & Control. Am. Journal of Preventive Medicine; 20:2S
 “New Revenues, Public Health Benefits & Cost Savings From A $1.00 Cigarette Tax Increase In North Carolina” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. http://www.ncallianceforhealth.org/Media/Tobacco/Excise%20Tax/NC%20Tax%20Hike%20Benefits%20($1)%2012-07-10.pdf