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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 May 22;58(19):524-7.

Federal and state cigarette excise taxes - United States, 1995-2009.


On April 1, 2009, the largest federal cigarette excise tax increase in history went into effect, bringing the combined federal and average state excise tax for cigarettes to $2.21 per pack and achieving the Healthy People 2010 (HP2010) objective (27-21a) to increase the combined federal and average state cigarette excise tax to at least $2 per pack. This report summarizes changes in the federal excise tax, as well as state excise taxes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) from December 31, 1995 to April 1, 2009. The findings indicate that the federal excise tax increased from 24 cents per pack in 1995 to $1.01 per pack in 2009, and the average state excise tax increased from 32.7 cents per pack to $1.20 per pack during the same period. These increases represent a 321% increase in the federal excise tax and a 267% increase in the average state excise tax since 1995. Price increases should be combined with other evidence-based policy and clinical interventions to meet HP2010 objectives to decrease smoking prevalence and reduce the burden from smoking-attributable death and disease.

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