Hawaii State Tax on Other Tobacco Products Increases 70 Percent..

September 24, 2009 - For Hawaii residents, the price of tobacco continues to rise. Starting on September 30 the state's wholesale tax on Other Tobacco Products (OTPs) such as chewing tobacco and pipe tobacco will significantly increase from 40 percent to 70 percent. Additionally, the tax on the wholesale price of cigars will rise from 40 percent to 50 percent, while the tax on smaller cigars will be taxed like cigarettes.

Julian Lipsher, program manager for the Department of Health's Tobacco Control Section: "For a typical tobacco user, it can cost approximately $2,555 a year to continue to support their nicotine addiction. In this economy those dollars could be better applied to family and household needs."

"Tobacco products are more expensive than ever before, which makes it a perfect time to quit," said Valerie Smalley, Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, Quit Coach. "For those who are thinking about or would like to learn more about quitting, the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline is a free, confidential resource, with qualified and trained Quit Coaches who are available to help guide users through the quitting process."

The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline recently released two new public service announcements that tout the message "imagine your life free from tobacco." The campaign seeks to empower tobacco users to quit by encouraging them take their health within their own control.

For residents who are considering quitting, the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) (or www.quitnowhawaii.org) provides over-the-phone assistance and free nicotine patches or gum, while supplies last, for eligible tobacco users who are uninsured, and assists those with coverage to work with their insurance company or community resources to receive free or reduced-cost nicotine replacement therapy. Hawaii Tobacco Quitline hours are from Monday to Sunday, 3 a.m. 9 p.m. Non-smokers can also call the Quitline to get help for a loved one.

The Department of Health is working in collaboration with community partners to educate and promote available tobacco cessation services and resources to better support those in their communities who are tackling nicotine addiction. There are more than 39 hospital and community-based tobacco cessation service providers that offer tobacco treatment programs across the state.

Reference: Hawaii State Tax on Other Tobacco Products Increases 70 Percent,
Crystal Yamasaki Reader Submitted, HonoluluAdvertiser.com, 9/23/2009.

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