Is the cigarette tax in New Jersey too low? What smokers are paying
🚬 Cigarette taxes in NJ – could they soon be raised?
🚬 Many neighboring states have higher cigarette taxes
🚬 1 in 10 NJ residents still smoke
Back in 2020, there was a plan to increase New Jersey’s cigarette tax, but it was put on hold when the COVID health emergency began.
Now there is renewed discussion about raising the cigarette tax in the Garden State.
Bill Sherman, the managing director of advocacy for the American Cancer Society said the tax should be increased for a very simple reason.
An effective tobacco control intervention
“The research shows that raising the price is one of the most effective tobacco control interventions. It’s proven to reduce smoking, especially among kids,” he said.
He pointed out “raising tobacco taxes through regular and significant tax increases encourages people to quit and helps prevent kids from ever starting.”
In neighboring states, the tax on a pack of cigarettes varies:
New Jersey's per-pack tax is $2.70.
Sherman said the American Cancer Society expects an 8.2% decrease in youth smoking when the tax is raised by $1 in New York.
If you want to take a road trip to find cheaper smokes the tax on a pack of cigarettes in Virginia is 60 cents.
Representatives of the tobacco industry have suggested raising taxes on cigarettes will increase cigarette black market activity but Sherman rejects that as being false.
“There is no evidence at all that increasing the cost of cigarettes will increase illegal sales, when cigarette taxes are raised, people smoke less.”
He said if the cigarette tax is raised in Jersey you will not have Garden State residents “driving down to Virginia or to any other even local state, because people want convenience.”
According to tobaccofreekids.org 3.7% of high school students and 10.7% of adults in New Jersey smoke cigarettes, and there are 11,800 adults who die every year from smoking cigarettes.