Philadelphia Cigarette Tax is Big Win for Kids and Health

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Sep. 24 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – The Pennsylvania Legislature and Governor Tom Corbett have delivered a big win for Philadelphia’s kids and health by enacting legislation that clears the way for Philadelphia to implement a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes.

The cigarette tax is both a health and financial win for Philadelphia. The evidence is clear that increasing the price of cigarettes is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Philadelphia’s cigarette tax will prevent kids from smoking and encourage smokers to quit, saving lives and health care dollars. The cigarette tax will further benefit kids by providing much-needed funding for the Philadelphia School District.

We applaud Mayor Michael Nutter for proposing the cigarette tax, the Philadelphia City Council for approving it and the Legislature and Governor Corbett for supporting the authorizing legislation. It is disappointing that state lawmakers included a provision, sought by tobacco companies, that would cause the cigarette tax to expire in 2019 if not renewed. Before then, lawmakers should reauthorize the tax so Philadelphia can continue to reap the health and financial benefits.

Philadelphia’s cigarette tax represents critical action to fight tobacco use, the nation’s number one cause of preventable death.

 

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