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Tobacco Tax Would Boost Public Health and Revenue Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Legislators Could Generate $425 million in Annual Revenue by Including Raised Tobacco Tax in COVID-19 Response Package

May 13, 2020

ATLANTA, GA – As lawmakers look to address both the budget deficit from earlier in the legislative session and the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) continues to urge the Georgia General Assembly to increase the state’s tobacco tax to $1.87 per pack of cigarettes paralleled with an increase in the tax on all other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 39% of the wholesale price.

The below is a statement on behalf of ACS CAN and can be attributed to Andy Freeman, Government Relations Director for ACS CAN in Georgia.

“Today’s pandemic has placed a heightened awareness on the need for strong public health infrastructure. Georgia continues to fall behind on comprehensive tobacco control measures. While legislators grapple with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and address its impact on our communities, the need to significantly increase our state’s tobacco tax and the crucial part it can play in Georgia’s recovery plan has never been clearer.

“Increasing our state’s alarmingly low cigarette tax, currently the third lowest in the nation, to $1.87 per pack of cigarettes would bring over $425 million in new annual revenue and aid Georgia in its economic recovery. At a dire hour for our state, such an increase paired with a parallel tax increase on all other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, would place us at a significant advantage in our response plan and benefit the health of thousands of Georgians long after the pandemic passes.”

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