The New York state chapter of the American Heart Association wants to increase the tobacco tax by an additional $1 per pack to help thousands of people quit smoking.
The association estimates that as many as 60,000 people could quit smoking.
Public radio station WAER 88.3 FM, at Syracuse University, reports that the association wants the state’s budget to confirm a hike on cigarettes and an increase in e-cigarettes.
The intention behind the increase sales tax of cigarettes is linked to the disputed claim that sin taxes prevent people, especially young people, from taking up a risky habit like smoking.
“It’s been 10 years since there was an increase in tobacco taxes in New York. The tax has become stale, but the need to reduce tobacco use – a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke – remains fresh,” a release from the association states, via local coverage by ABC 7 in Buffalo, New York.
According to the same coverage, the American Heart Association’s director of government relations in New York, Caitlin O’Brien released the following statement outlining the ideal policy the association wants to see:
“Conservative estimates show that a $1 per pack increase in the tax on cigarettes would result in 61,800 NYS adults quitting and 29,500 NYS youth under the age of 18 prevented from becoming smokers.”
“In addition, 24,400 premature smoking-caused deaths would be prevented and the 5-year reduction in the number of smoking affected pregnancies and births would be 6,000 people. In addition, a $1.00 cigarette tax increase would bring in $30.40 million in new annual revenue. We strongly urge Gov. Cuomo to include this tax increase in the 2021 Executive Budget.”