The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is a member of the Raise It For Health North Dakota coalition in support of iniated ballot measure 4 to increase the tobacco tax. In November, North Dakota voters will decide whether to increase the tobacco tax for the first time since 1993. Currently, North Dakota ranks 47th in the nation for cigarette tax rates at just $0.44 per pack. North Dakota is well below the national average of $1.65 per pack and well below the average of our neighboring states at $2.08 per pack of cigarettes.
Tobacco tax increases are proven to be one of the most effective policies to prevent kids from ever using tobacco. By passing Measure 4, North Dakotans can prevent 5,800 of our youth alive today under the age of 18 from ever starting.
One third of all cancer deaths in the U.S. are caused by tobacco products and tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death nationwide claiming the lives of 480,000 people in the U.S. annually. In North Dakota, approximately 1,000 people die each year from smoking related disease.
Measure 4 will provide funding for crucial and underfunded health care services for North Dakota veterans and North Dakotans with chronic disease, substance abuse disorders, and mental health needs.