Companies use bogus smuggling claims to fight tobacco control measures, then foster black markets themselves
Nov 17, 2014
For years, the major tobacco companies have fought cigarette tax increases and other tobacco control measures by claiming they will spark massive increases in cigarette smuggling and black markets. But stories in The Wall Street Journal (subscription only), The Guardian and other media reveal that British American Tobacco (BAT), the world’s second largest multinational tobacco company, has been supporting — and profiting from — the same cigarette smuggling schemes that tobacco companies claim are caused by policies to reduce tobacco use.
Continue reading Big Tobacco Fined for Fueling Black Market in U.K.
Tobacco industry-funded organization asks government representatives to attend private meeting before WHO conference
Oct 8, 2014
A tobacco industry-funded organization is trying to gut life-saving efforts to raise tobacco taxes as countries prepare to discuss the issue at an upcoming World Health Organization conference on tobacco control, according to an article in the Financial Times (subscription required). The conference kicks off October 13 in Moscow.
The International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC), a Washington, DC-based organization, has asked government representatives from around the world to attend a private meeting shortly before the conference in an effort to undercut progress on tobacco tax increases. According to the Financial Times, “all four of the major international tobacco companies, including British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International, are sponsors of the ITIC and have representatives on its board of directors.”
Continue reading Ahead of Global Meeting, Big Tobacco Seeks to Derail Progress on Life-Saving Tobacco Taxes
Governments should increase tobacco taxes to reduce smoking, save lives
May 23, 2014
Tobacco companies claim they have smokers' interests at heart when they oppose tobacco tax increases. But they are all too willing to exploit smokers for their own financial gains, as shown by a USA TODAY story this week.
USA TODAY reviewed companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 and found that three tobacco giants — Philip Morris International, Altria and Lorillard — are among the top 10 with the biggest profit margins, a measure of how much companies keep of every dollar in revenue after paying expenses. The three tobacco companies all have profit margins of over 40 percent.
Continue reading Tobacco Giants’ Huge Profits Show Hypocrisy in Opposing Tobacco Tax Increases
More evidence that cigarette tax is a win-win-win
Jul 31, 2013
Early learning advocates today released results of a national survey showing strong support across party lines for a plan to expand early childhood education programs with funding from a 94-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax.
Continue reading Poll: Strong Support for Early Childhood Education Funded by Cigarette Tax
Washington Post blog hails proposal
Apr 12, 2013
Earlier this week, President Obama presented his 2014 budget, which proposes to fund early childhood education initiatives by increasing the federal cigarette tax by 94 cents per pack and similarly increasing taxes on other tobacco products.
Continue reading Cigarette Tax Plan Called One of “Three Best Ideas in Obama’s Budget”
Proposals advance in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wyoming
Jan 28, 2013
Tobacco tax increases are a win-win-win solution for states — a health win that reduces smoking and saves lives, a financial win that raises revenue and reduces tobacco-related health care costs, and a political win because tobacco taxes have the strong support of the public.
Continue reading As States Draft Budgets, Higher Tobacco Taxes Offer Health and Financial Wins
Measure enacted over strong tobacco industry opposition
Dec 21, 2012
Taking historic action to reduce smoking in the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino has signed a new law that will significantly increase cigarette taxes.
This new law will help reduce tobacco’s deadly toll in the Philippines, where 28 percent of the population smokes – including nearly half of all men – and more than 35,000 Filipinos die each year from tobacco-related disease. We applaud President Aquino and lawmakers who supported the law for taking such strong action to reduce tobacco use.
Continue reading Victory in the Philippines: President Signs Historic Cigarette Tax Increase
$1 hike will protect kids, save lives
Nov 12, 2012
It’s been a great year in the fight against tobacco in Illinois. Earlier this year, the state increased its cigarette tax by $1 per pack. Now Cook County commissioners have taken another critical step by increasing the county’s cigarette tax by $1, effective March 1, 2013.
Continue reading Cook County, IL, Delivers Win for Health by Increasing Cigarette Tax
Voters to decide smoke-free initiative in North Dakota, tobacco tax measure in Missouri
Oct 25, 2012
North Dakota and Missouri voters on November 6 will have the chance to deliver big wins for health and save lives in their states.
North Dakota voters can approve a statewide ballot initiative, Measure 4, to require smoke-free workplaces and public places, including restaurants and bars.
Missouri voters can prevent kids from smoking and save lives by voting yes on Prop B to increase the state’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax by 73 cents per pack.
Continue reading Saving Lives at the Ballot Box
Tobacco taxes are health win and revenue win
Sep 11, 2012
The 2009 increase in the federal cigarette tax achieved the goals of significantly reducing smoking and raising revenue to help fund expansion of children’s health insurance, according to today’s lead story in USA TODAY.
Continue reading USA TODAY: 2009 Federal Cigarette Tax Hike Cut Smoking
Voters will have a chance to keep kids from smoking, save lives
Aug 8, 2012
Missouri voters in November can prevent kids from smoking and save lives by approving a ballot initiative to increase the state’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax by 73 cents per pack.
Continue reading Missouri Can Rise from the Ashes in November by Increasing Low Tobacco Tax
Low-tax products attract kids and keep smokers hooked
Aug 3, 2012
A new report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that tobacco companies are manipulating their products to avoid taxes and regulations aimed at reducing smoking, undermining the fight against the nation’s leading cause of preventable death.
In particular, tobacco companies have mislabeled roll-your-own tobacco as pipe tobacco and increased the weight of many cigars to escape higher tobacco taxes imposed by a 2009 federal law. By keeping the prices of these products low, tobacco companies are attracting kids and keeping smokers hooked.
Continue reading CDC Report Exposes Tobacco Companies’ Latest Tricks to Promote Smoking
Cuts Jeopardize Efforts to Improve Health, Reduce Costs
Jun 29, 2012
North Carolina legislators have let down kids and taxpayers with a budget that drastically cuts funding for the state's very successful tobacco prevention and cessation programs. This budget will lead to more kids becoming addicted to tobacco, fewer tobacco users getting the help they need to quit, more lives lost and North Carolina taxpayers paying the bill for higher tobacco-caused health care costs.
Continue reading North Carolina Legislators Slash Funds that Protect Kids from Tobacco
Industry's shameful tactics on full display for World No Tobacco Day
May 31, 2012
Today is World No Tobacco Day, and the tobacco industry is doing exactly what the World Health Organization warns is a typical industry bullying tactic that must be stopped: Tobacco companies are spending more than $45 million to defeat a California ballot initiative that would raise the cigarette tax by $1 to reduce smoking, as well as fund cancer research and tobacco prevention programs.
Continue reading Big Tobacco Spends $45 Million to Battle California Tobacco Tax Initiative
$1-a-pack hike will save lives, bolster state Medicaid program
May 30, 2012
Illinois lawmakers have enacted a $1-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes — more than doubling the current 98-cent tax. The life-saving measure will reduce smoking and raise revenues to help fund the state’s health care program for the poor.
Continue reading Illinois More than Doubles Cigarette Tax
Raising taxes on tobacco products will protect kids and save lives
May 23, 2012
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has signed a life-saving increase in the state's tax on little cigars and smokeless tobacco, products that the tobacco industry is marketing heavily in a bid to entice youth to use tobacco.
Lower tax rates on cigars and smokeless tobacco compared to cigarettes have helped fuel an increase in teen use of these products. While cigarette smoking among Maryland high school students has decreased nearly 40 percent since 2000, cigar use has increased by more than 11 percent during the same period.
Continue reading Maryland Leads with First Tobacco Tax Hike of 2012
Editorials back ballot measure to increase cigarette tax, fund tobacco prevention and cancer research
Apr 30, 2012
California’s newspapers aren’t fooled by tobacco industry lies about Proposition 29 – and they’re urging voters to beat back the scare tactics and support the measure to increase cigarette taxes, fund tobacco prevention programs and boost cancer research to save lives.
Continue reading California Newspapers: Don’t Believe Big Tobacco’s Lies
Kick Butts Day Rally at Georgia State Capitol
Mar 12, 2012
With just nine days to go before Kick Butts Day, youth around the country are organizing high-impact events that highlight the dangers of tobacco use and show public officials how important it is to support policies that reduce tobacco use and saves lives. The fight against tobacco is as urgent as ever following a new U.S. Surgeon General’s report that found youth tobacco use is still a “pediatric epidemic.”
At the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, teens and health advocates will hold a rally to speak out about tobacco’s terrible toll on the state and the benefits of increasing the cigarette tax by $1. The “Bump it Up A Buck” Coalition is telling lawmakers the measure would reduce smoking, improve the health of all Georgians and generate more than $340 million in new revenue each year.
Continue reading Bump It Up a Buck to Save Lives
Big bucks will spread big lies about cigarette tax initiative
Mar 6, 2012
Big tobacco companies already have coughed up nearly $15 million to try to kill a California ballot initiative that would boost the state's cigarette tax by $1 to fund cancer research and tobacco-prevention programs.
"Shame on them," says Dr. Richard Gray, president of the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate. "But we aren’t surprised — they will always put their profits before the health of millions of Californians."
Continue reading Big Tobacco Bankrolls Fight Against California Measure to Reduce Smoking, Save Lives
Golden State voters have golden opportunity to save lives
Feb 2, 2012
Ready to take on Big Tobacco, California health advocates have launched a blockbuster campaign for a ballot measure to raise the state’s cigarette tax by $1 a pack and use the money to fund programs to prevent tobacco use and boost cancer research.
The effort to pass Proposition 29, a ballot initiative to be put to voters in June, brought public officials, health advocates, cancer survivors, students – and mattresses bearing the slogan “Let’s See Who’s In Bed with Big Tobacco” – to kickoff events in cities and towns all up and down the Golden State.
Continue reading Blockbuster Kick-Off in California Campaign for Cigarette Tax to Fund Prevention and Research
Push toward higher taxes on cigars, smokeless, loose tobacco
Jan 30, 2012
States around the country are getting wise to the tobacco industry's promotion of products such as sweet-flavored cigars and smokeless tobacco as a way to hook kids and offset the decline in cigarette smoking: Increasingly, governors and lawmakers are proposing higher taxes on "other tobacco products" that too often have been left out when cigarette taxes are hiked.
Continue reading Tax Hikes Proposed on All Tobacco Products as States Seek to Close Loopholes, Thwart Industry
Windfall disproves industry claims on lost revenues
Nov 15, 2011
Mexico saw a surge in tobacco tax revenues from January through September 2011, according to the finance ministry — the result of a 2010 hike in tobacco taxes that industry opponents had claimed would increase smuggling and lose revenue.
Instead, Mexico's finance minister said the historic increase in cigarette taxes, which raised the tax per cigarette pack by seven pesos, boosted revenues by 9 percent after adjusting for inflation.
Continue reading Mexico Reaps Revenue Gains from Tobacco Tax
Voters could get chance to raise cigarette taxes, fund education and tobacco prevention
Sep 23, 2011
Missouri’s meager, 17-cents-per-pack cigarette tax — the lowest in the nation — could be raised by 80 cents, reducing smoking and generating $300 million to help fund public education, state universities and programs to help smokers quit and keep kids from starting.
It’s truly a win-win for the state.
Continue reading Low-Tax Missouri Can Lift Itself from Bottom of the Pack
Conservative Michigan governor has courage to save lives
Jodi Radke, Regional Advocacy Director
Sep 21, 2011
When Republican Rick Snyder ran for Michigan Governor he promised to be a strong conservative and "one tough nerd." Now that he's in the executive mansion, Snyder is showing his toughness by standing up to efforts by Big Tobacco to lower the state's cigarette tax.
Continue reading “One Tough Nerd” Stands Up to Big Tobacco
CBS News highlights "tiny tobacco tariffs" in 15 states
Sep 8, 2011
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data this week showing the rate of adult smoking nationwide declined to 19.3 percent in 2010, CBS News decided to look at what it calls a "cigarette tax shocker" — the stunningly low rate of cigarette taxes in the 15 states that rank near the bottom in taxing cigarettes.
Continue reading States With Lowest Cigarette Taxes “Could Do a Lot More to Snuff Out the Smokes”
Revenues drop after 10-cent cut in tobacco tax
Aug 4, 2011
The upside-down logic that prompted New Hampshire lawmakers to cut the state's cigarette tax by 10 cents already has backfired: State revenues dropped by $6.6 million in July compared with July 2010 due in part to the falloff in revenues from the misguided cigarette tax cut.
Continue reading New Hampshire Hurts Health and Budget at the Same Time
House Speaker O'Brien blamed for helping tobacco industry at taxpayers' expense
Jul 28, 2011
When the New Hampshire Legislature cut the state's cigarette tax by 10 cents a pack, effective July 1, it was touted as a way to boost the state's economy by reducing cigarette prices and attracting smokers from neighboring states.
It's outrageous enough that a state would encourage sales of a deadly and addictive product — one that kills 1,700 New Hampshire residents and costs the state $564 million in health care bills each year.
Continue reading A New Hampshire Giveaway to Big Tobacco
Abby Michaelsen works to pass California Cancer Research Act
Abby Michaelsen, National Youth Advocate of the Year
May 18, 2011
It is an immense honor to be the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ National Youth Advocate of the Year! I am so excited to be in Washington to receive this award and to meet my fellow advocates who have been working tirelessly in their own communities on their tobacco prevention campaigns.
At home, I’m focused on helping my local American Heart Association with our campaign for the California Cancer Research Act. This act would increase the state’s tobacco tax by $1, with all the new funds going towards tobacco prevention and cessation programs and cancer research. Voters will decide the issue in the next statewide election, though the exact date of that is still uncertain.
Continue reading Meet Our National Youth Advocate of the Year