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American Heart Association calls for increased tobacco tax in New York

Do higher cigarette taxes lead to lower smoking rates?
Posted at 1:18 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 13:18:27-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The American Heart Association held a virtual tobacco tax rally Monday calling on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to include an increased tobacco tax in the 2021 Executive Budget.

The association says it has been 10 years since there was an increase in tobacco taxes in the state.

"It’s been 10 years since there was an increase in tobacco taxes in New York. The tax has become stale, but the need to reduce tobacco use – a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke – remains fresh," a release states.

Advocates are calling for a $1 per pack tax increase on cigarettes and tax parity on other tobacco products.

“Conservative estimates show that a $1 per pack increase in the tax on cigarettes would result in 61,800 NYS adults quitting and 29,500 NYS youth under the age of 18 prevented from becoming smokers,” said Caitlin O’Brien, J.D., director of government relations in New York for the American Heart Association. “In addition, 24,400 premature smoking caused deaths would be prevented and the 5-year reduction in the number of smoking affected pregnancies and births would be 6,000 people. In addition, a $1.00 cigarette tax increase would bring in $30.40 million in new annual revenue. We strongly urge Gov. Cuomo to include this tax increase in the 2021 Executive Budget.”