A study by a tobacco policy expert at the University of Illinois-Chicago states at a tobacco tax increase would produce a large, sustained increase in state tobacco tax revenues.

A study by a tobacco policy expert at the University of Illinois-Chicago states at a tobacco tax increase would produce a large, sustained increase in state tobacco tax revenues.

The report by Dr. Frank Chaloupka, a professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and its School of Public Health’s Division of Health Policy and Administration, came on the same day the Kansas Legislature reconvened for its veto session, still looking for ways to battle a proposed $510 million budget shortfall for the year that begins July 1.

The American Cancer Society lauded the report.

“This report joins the mountain of evidence showing why raising the tobacco tax is exactly what Kansas needs,” said Chris Masoner, American Cancer Society government relations director.

“Increasing the cigarette tax is a proven way to raise revenue and protect vital programs like education and social services from deeper cuts, while preventing kids from smoking and saving lives at the same time.”

The society, along with other Kansas health advocates have called on the Legislature and Gov. Mark Parkinson to increase the state cigarette tax by $1 a pack and also raise the tax on other tobacco products.

Chaloupka developed his report in conjunction with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
That report found:

• Every time Kansas has raised its cigarette tax since 1970, it has produced significant amounts of new revenue, despite related pack sales declines.

• Significant cigarette tax increases generate significant increases in cigarette tax revenues.

• Revenues several years after the tax increase remain significantly higher than revenues prior to the tax increase, and changes over time after the increase are consistent with changes that would result from underlying downward trends in cigarette smoking.

“On the whole, state cigarette and other tobacco tax revenues are among the most predictable, steady, and reliable revenues that states receive,” Chaloupka stated in the report.

A report released earlier this year by a coalition of public health organizations found that a $1 cigarette tax increase in Kansas would raise nearly $75 million in new annual revenue, prevent 21,600 kids from smoking, and save 10,000 lives from premature, smoking-caused deaths.

Chaloupka’s report stated that state cigarette and other tobacco product tax increases will produce reductions in public and private spending on health care to treat diseases caused by smoking, and by the reductions in the other economic costs caused by tobacco use.

On the Web:
American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org