Resolution in Support of Increasing North Carolina’s Cigarette Tax by at Least $1.00

WHEREAS, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in North Carolina,[i] responsible for 14,200 deaths each year;[ii] and

WHEREAS, nearly 8,700 North Carolina children will become regular daily smokers this year[iii] and 180,000 North Carolina youth under the age of 18 are projected to die from smoking;[iv] and

WHEREAS, evidence shows the best way to prevent and reduce tobacco use by children is to substantially increase the cost of cigarettes;[v] and

WHEREAS, a cigarette tax increase of $1.00 would result in a 14.9% decrease in youth smoking rates, prevent 59,800 North Carolina children from becoming addicted adult smokers and saving 36,800 young people from premature smoking-related deaths;[vi] and

WHEREAS, North Carolina’s cigarette tax is currently 45 cents, the 4th lowest in the nation, and the current average cigarette tax among all states is $1.60;[vii] and

WHEREAS, in contrast to North Carolina’s low cigarette tax, cigarette sales in North Carolina cost taxpayers $3.81 billion in health care costs annually, with $931.4 million of that cost covered by Medicaid;[viii] and

WHEREAS, an increase in the cigarette tax of $1.00 would generate an estimated $349.63 million in new revenue in the first year, and an equivalent increase in taxes on other tobacco products would generate another $50.30 million.[ix]

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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Updated July 2015

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[i] North Carolina Institute of Medicine, Task Force on Prevention, May 2008.

[ii] “The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 12 May. 2015. Web. Available at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/north_carolina.

[iii] “The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 12 May 2015. Web. Available at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/north_carolina.

[iv] “The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 12 May 2015. Web. Available at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/north_carolina.

[v] Hopkins, David P., et al. “The Guide to Community Preventive Services.” Tobacco Use Prevention & Control. Am. Journal of Preventive Medicine 20:2S (2001).

[vi] “New Revenues, Public Health Benefits & Cost Savings From a $1.00 Cigarette Tax Increase in North Carolina.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. 7 Jan. 2015. Web.

[vii] “State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. 6 July. 2015. Web. Available at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0097.pdf.

[viii] “The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 12 May 2015. Web. Available at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/north_carolina.

[ix] “New Revenues, Public Health Benefits & Cost Savings From a $1.00 Cigarette Tax Increase in North Carolina.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. 7 Jan. 2015.

rob@idriveroi.comResolution in Support of Increasing North Carolina’s Cigarette Tax by at Least $1.00