Bill Introduced That Would Significantly Increase Tobacco Tax
[MMA News Now, Jan. 17, 2013] On Jan. 17, Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL), the chair of the House Taxes Committee, introduced a tobacco tax bill (HF 91) that proposes increasing the tax on cigarettes by $1.60 per pack.
In addition, the bill would similarly increase the tax on other tobacco products and reclassify little cigars as cigarettes. Little cigars feature flavored papers such as chocolate that are particularly appealing to young people, said Eric Dick, MMA manager of state legislative affairs
“This is just the kind of legislation MMA can rally behind when it comes to tobacco products in our state,” Dick said. “Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable death in Minnesota. Raising the price of tobacco is one of the most effective ways to encourage users to quit and prevent young people from starting.”
In Minnesota, tobacco use is responsible for more than 5,100 deaths each year. Smoking and tobacco use results in nearly $3 billion in health-related costs every year.