November 15, 2010 - The state of Idaho is being pushed by many health groups to increase the tax that they currently have in place on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Idaho has a lower cigarette tax than any of its neighbors at 57 cents per pack, Radke (Jodi Radke, Rocky Mountain regional director for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids). Wyoming charges 60 cents per pack, Nevada 80 cents, Oregon $1.18, and Montana and Utah $1.70. Washington just raised its tax by $1, to $3.02. The nationwide average in states that don't grow tobacco is $1.54. Idaho ranks in at number 42 in regards to their tax on tobacco products such as cigarettes. The tobacco tax rate is 40 percent of the wholesale sales price of the tobacco. Tobacco tax is imposed on all “other tobacco products,” excluding cigarettes.
The health groups, including state sectors of the American Cancer Society, are pushing to increase this tax by at least 57 cents per pack. The belief is that if they are able to do this, they would not only increase funding for many state programs, but they would also be able to detract more people from smoking.
Health groups, who have support from Republican Rep. Dennis Lake, believe that it will drop the smoking rate of kids in the state of Idaho by nearly 4% immediately.
After the conservative turn of the Idaho Legislature during the November election, however, proposals to hike increases, regardless of which product is targeted, face a tough fight in the 2011 session.
American Heart Association lobbyist Adrean Casper said raising Idaho's 57-cent-per-pack cigarette tax 10% would cut youth smoking by about 6.5%.
There are some who oppose this, as the tax hike in Idaho on cigarettes would face some stiff competition in regards to trying to get it passed.
CDC - Idaho and Tobacco Use..
References: Group Pushing for Idaho Cigarette Tax Increase But faces more resistance after GOP election wins, CSP Daily News, 11/15/2010; Tobacco foes seek Idaho tax increase
Proponents say adding $1 to the price of a pack of smokes is a win-win in tough times by WILLIAM L. SPENCE - LEWISTON TRIBUNE, IdahoStatesman.com, 6/25/2010.
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