Maryland has just increased its tobacco tax by $1 a pack of cigarettes. Minnesota this year raised its tobacco tax — oh, excuse us, “health impact fee” — by 75 cents a pack. In Wisconsin, Governor Doyle pushed through a $1 a pack increase.
Indeed, a July 13th summary by the Tax Foundation — before the Wisconsin and Maryland increases — reported, “Thirty-six states have increased cigarette taxes since 2002, some more than once. The trend is not slowing, as five states have already increased their tax in 2007.”
Tobacco demand IS elastic, right? After all, health advocates promote higher cigarette taxes to discourage smoking, especially by children. Always the children.
So with all these state increases, Congress’ plans to raise federal tobacco taxes to fund more children’s health coverage should, rightfully, be going up in smoke.
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