Maryland Sets Example for Other… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
sign up

Maryland Sets Example for Other States by Increasing Cigarette Tax

Statement by William V. Corr, Executive Vice-President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
April 06, 2002

Washington, DC — Maryland's Legislature and Governor Parris Glendening have placed their state at the forefront of protecting kids from tobacco by increasing the state's cigarette tax. With a 34-cent cigarette tax increase, Maryland will reduce smoking among both kids and adults, saving lives and money by reducing smoking-related illness and death. As an added benefit, the cigarette tax increase will also raise much-needed revenue for the state. This is a win-win solution for Maryland.

Maryland's actions follow a recent report by the National Cancer Institute that concluded, 'research clearly indicates that tobacco control interventions…can be very effective in reducing cigarette smoking among adolescents. In particular, these include increased tobacco taxation and stronger tobacco control policies.' Research indicates that the 34 cents per pack increase in Maryland's cigarette tax to $1 will prevent 15,600 kids from becoming smokers and raise 92.4 million in revenue each year.

Every year in Maryland, nearly 13,000 kids become regular, addicted smokers and treating smoking-caused illness costs the state's residents $1.4 billion. The facts show that we know how to bring these numbers down and have done so successfully by using a combination of cigarette tax increases and tobacco prevention programs. Maryland's leaders have now shown that they have the political will to stand up to the tobacco industry and do the right thing to protect the state's kids and taxpayers. By joining Maryland in doing the right thing, the many other states currently debating cigarette tax increases and tobacco prevention funding can enjoy these benefits as well.