One of Kentucky’s leading health advocates says a 50 cent increase in the state’s cigarette tax is beginning to pay dividends.
A poll commissioned by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky finds that 39 percent of adult smokers cut back on the number of cigarettes they smoked following last year’s tax hike.
Thirty-three percent considered quitting, and 26 percent actually tried to quit because of the price increase.
Foundation CEO Ben Chandler said, "what we’re seeing as a result of this tax increase is that raising the price of cigarettes does benefit the health of our citizens, and will ultimately lead to a lower smoking rate.”
During the 2018 legislative session, state lawmakers raised the cigarette tax from 60 cents to a dollar-ten per pack.
While the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky lobbied for a heftier increase, it was still the largest hike in the cigarette tax in state history.
The group is now trying to persuade legislators to add an excise tax to electronic cigarettes, which have exploded in popularity, particularly among young people.