A special ceremony on June 4 commemorated Governor Dayton’s signing a new tobacco tax into law. The Governor, the Health Commissioner, lawmakers who helped pass the law in the Legislature and health advocates from around the state attended the event.
The new law raises the price of cigarettes by $1.60 per pack and takes effect July 1. This is the largest tobacco tax increase in Minnesota history, and will raise us to the rank of sixth in the country for cigarette taxation (a key indicator of excellence in tobacco control).
Research shows that raising cigarette prices reduces smoking by youth and adults. This change is projected to:
- Prevent more than 47,000 kids from smoking;
- Save more than 25,000 Minnesotans from tobacco-related deaths;
- Save $1.65 billion in long-term health care costs; and
- Help more than 36,000 smokers quit.
You can read a press release covering the event here.
Free help for Minnesota tobacco users facing this change is available through QUITPLAN Services, which has helped more than 20,000 Minnesotans successfully quit. Info is available here, at 1-888-354-PLAN or at www.quitplan.com.