Why are cigarettes

getting more expensive?


Cigarettes are getting more expensive.

Unpacking the cost of cigarettes.

Cigarettes seem to get more expensive all the time. Prices continue to rise because of tax increases specifically on tobacco products and it creates a real burden for the average adult smoker. In an attempt to increase revenue, many states are pushing for and passing legislation to raise cigarette taxes, but it’s at the smoker’s expense.

Between 2002 and 2015, Ohio’s cigarette tax more than tripled and in 2017, another increase was proposed that would have raised the rate by 71%! 1

Everything gets taxed, but lawmakers tend to view cigarettes as easy revenue so they get taxed way more than most other products.

In New York City, a pack of cigarettes costs almost $12. What most people don’t know is that roughly 77% of that goes to the government in taxes and fees.

Meaning the taxes are more than double the cost of the product! And while New York has the highest state cigarette tax in the country, most other states have a similar dynamic where government makes more than half the profit off of each pack.

The choice is yours.

The bottom line is, you can voice your opinion on how much cigarette taxes affect you.

Adults who smoke pay the price for tobacco tax increases even though state budget increases don’t necessarily benefit smokers, but there are easy ways to get involved and fight tax proposals before they start costing you.

If your legislators know that their constituents are against a higher cigarette tax rate, they may think twice about proposing that kind of legislation, but they won’t know how you feel until you tell them.

Your legislators want to hear from you.

The people in power are making decisions about tobacco taxes that affect your wallet, but they often seem so inaccessible. How would you even begin to reach out to your legislators? In 2015, the Congressional Management Foundation reported that “…71% of Congressional offices said social media comments from constituents would have “some” or “a lot” of influence on an undecided lawmaker,” so it’s time to find your legislators and start talking!

Here’s how:

  • Sign up to get notified about issues that affect your state or region and information about how to reach your legislator easily.
  • Select your state on our state map to learn about upcoming tobacco-related proposals.

We know you have something meaningful to say, and we can help you say it in a couple of clicks.