Today, the Illinois General Assembly passed a $1-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes sold in Illinois, establishing a $2.98-per-pack tax on cigarettes and a 15% wholesale tax on e-cigarettes. In response, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Respiratory Health Association issued the following statement:
Legislature’s Missed Opportunity To Reduce Smoking, Save Lives
Not Raising the Tax on Cigarettes Lets Big Tobacco Off the Hook, Will Keep Kids Addicted
The following statement can be attributed to Nick Faustman, Nebraska government relations director American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
“The legislature failed to stand up for Nebraska’s children and against the interests of Big Tobacco. We are deeply disappointed that the legislature did not take the opportunity to raise the state’s cigarette tax before ending session for the year and therefore failed to take full advantage of the opportunity to help the people of Nebraska. It would have been a win-win-win for Nebraskans.
“Increasing the cigarette tax by a $1.50 per pack would have saved lives, reduced preventable health care costs and raised much needed revenue. It would’ve helped 10,400 adults who smoke quit and would’ve kept 8,000 kids from becoming smokers. It also would’ve saved an estimated $387.17 million in long-term health care costs. And a $1.50 per pack cigarette tax increase would’ve raised over $74 million in reliable, new annual revenue for the state.
“We hope to see legislation in the near future that would increase the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack along with an equivalent tax increase on all other tobacco products and will work to ensure Nebraska lawmakers support this effort to improve the health of our communities and our economy.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.