Increasing the price
of tobacco is one of the most effective ways to prevent young people from starting to use tobacco. It has also been shown to help smokers cut down or quit.
Legislation proposed by Senator John Keenan and Representative Marjorie C. Decker would increase the tax on cigarettes by $1.00, bringing it to a more reasonable $4.51, and would increase the tax on cigars from 40% of wholesale to 80% of wholesale.
The cigarette tax was last increased in 2013 (Fiscal Year 2014). At the time, Massachusetts had the second-highest cigarette tax in the nation. Now, we are lagging behind.
Decades of evidence shows that increasing the cigarette and cigar taxes reduces the amount that people smoke, and it also reduces the smoking rate. It's a long-term financial gain, saving some of the more than $4 billion in health
care costs annually attributed to tobacco use in Massachusetts.
The impact of tobacco taxes is strongest on kids and teenagers. An increase in cigarette and cigar taxes will help prevent young people from starting to use these products.