Federal Cigarette Tax Increase About to Become Law

American Lung Association in New York Provides Information on Statewide Benefits

ALBANY, NY (02/04/2009)(readMedia)-- This afternoon, President Obama is scheduled to sign recently passed legislation which includes a 61.66 cent increase in the federal tax on cigarettes to help fund the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This increase raises the federal tax on cigarettes to just over $1 per pack and will help reduce the serious burden of lung disease felt across New York State by saving lives and money.

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and the entire New York Congressional Delegation supported this historic legislation.

The American Lung Association in New York estimates that in New York, the additional federal increase of 61 cents will:

-- prevent 77,400 youth from starting to smoke;

-- help 41,300 adult smokers to quit;

-- prevent over 35,000 smoking-related deaths; and

-- save New York State $1.7 billion in future health care costs.

The American Lung Association in New York recently highlighted findings of the State of Tobacco Control 2008 report, which estimates the economic costs in New York State due to smoking are a staggering $14.1 billion dollars. The report found that New York's grades for tobacco prevention funding and coverage were among the worst in Nation, while New York's smokefree laws and tobacco taxation were among the best.

In June 2008, New York State became the national public health leader in tobacco taxation when it raised the tobacco excise tax to $2.75 - the highest in the nation. New York City has its own additional $1.50 local cigarette excise tax, bringing the total tax to $4.25 across the five boroughs.

For more information, or to view the complete New York State report card, visit us online at www.alany.org/SOTC.