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Apr 01,2009
U.S. tax hike on tobacco takes effect
by UPI

WASHINGTON -- The largest U.S. tobacco tax hike took effect Wednesday, dramatically raising the price of tobacco products to fund a federal children's health insurance plan.

The increase, which raises the so-called sin tax from 39 cents to $1.01 and applies to all tobacco products, comes as more than two dozen cash-strapped states consider boosting their own tobacco taxes this year, USA Today reported.

Congress passed legislation last year that would have raised the tobacco tax to fund the State Children's Health Insurance Program, but former President George W. Bush vetoed it. In February, President Obama signed a new version.

"This is very historic," said Matthew McKenna, director of the Office of Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Before the tax hike, cigarette prices averaged about $5 a pack, USA Today said. To help adjust to the hike, tobacco companies are raising prices by different amounts, with some absorbing part of the increase while others raising prices more.

McKenna said a previous 10 percent price increase reduced cigarette consumption about 4 percent. He said he expects the federal tax hike to prompt at least 1 million of the 45 million adult smokers to quit.

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Related news
Oregon receives failing grade on tobacco prevention funding by Bend Weekly News Sources posted on Jan 12,2007

Oregon adult, youth smoking drops 41 percent in decade by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Feb 01,2008

Higher tax is an incentive to quit smoking by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted on Apr 03,2009

Menthol hampers tobacco regulation by UPI posted on May 13,2008

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