Tobacco Tax Bill Considered
Written by Andrew-Rossi on January 25, 2019
A bill making its way through the Wyoming Legislature that would raise taxes on cigarettes by one dollar per pack is being supported by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
House Bill 218, sponsored by Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, would also increase the tax on some other tobacco products such as chewing tobacco and snuff.
According to Dawn Scott, grassroots coordinator for ACS CAN, tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death, and smoking causes nearly 30 percent of all cancer deaths in Wyoming. Each year, 800 Wyoming residents die from their own smoking and an additional 1,800 kids try cigarettes for the first time. She says upping the price of tobacco has proven to be a deterrent, especially for kids – and will benefit the state at the same time.
Additionally, ACS CAN is urging the legislature to include e-cigarettes in the tax increase to address what the organization calls an e-cigarette epidemic among youth.
Scott points out that although e-cigarettes are not yet included in the bill, Representative Zwonitzer has indicated that he would support adding that amendment.
According to the American Cancer Society, every state that’s raised its cigarette tax by at least $1 per pack has seen a sharp decrease in the number of cigarette packs sold, leading to fewer kids starting to smoke and less preventable disease and death.