Tobacco price increases are one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking and other tobacco use, especially among kids. The evidence is clear: The more cigarettes cost, the less people smoke, especially kids.
In fact, the Surgeon General's 50th Anniversary Report on Smoking and Health says that one of the ways to quickly and dramatically stop youth from starting to use tobacco products is to increase the price.
By raising tobacco prices by just $1.50 per pack, we could prevent 5,200 North Dakota kids from every trying tobacco. In addition, we can prevent 3,000 premature deaths and save our state millions of dollars in healthcare costs.
Health Benefits of a Price Increase
At 44 cents per pack of cigarettes, North Dakota has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation. Cheap tobacco is a leading cause for tobacco use among our state’s youth.
Tobacco companies hook their customers to a life-long nicotine addiction, and need to recruit replacements for those who have died. They want your children for replacements.
We can reduce youth smoking by making tobacco less affordable
Data tracked from 1991-2017 indicated that when tobacco prices increased, youth tobacco prevalence decreased.
Youth Tobacco Rates Decrease as Price Increases
What can be done to protect our young people?
According to the Surgeon General’s report, increasing the price of tobacco is one of the most effective methods to prevent youth from ever starting to use tobacco.
Strong research — including state studies in the areas of health, employment and revenue — shows that increasing the price of tobacco is an effective way to reduce tobacco use rates among both youth and adults.
Other steps that can help keep kids tobacco-free include:
- Educating parents, teachers, young people and the general public on the harms of tobacco and nicotine products
- Setting a smoke-free and tobacco-free example at home and at school
- Eliminating fruit and candy flavors from tobacco and nicotine products
- Eliminating candy-like packaging and slick marketing aimed at youth
- Keeping all tobacco and nicotine products out of the hands of young people
Minnesota's 2013 Tobacco Tax Increase is Improving Health
Minnesota 2013 Tobacco Tax White Paper