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Philadelphia Cigarette Taxes

Smoking is one of the biggest killers in Philadelphia.

The Health Department works very hard to help Philadelphians quit, including offering free nicotine patches and counseling and access to Quit Coaches. Another way we can help people quit is through making it more expensive to smoke by raising taxes on cigarettes. Here are just a few of the good reasons to tax cigarettes in Philadelphia.

1. Smoking Cigarettes is Deadly
  • Each year 2,100 Philadelphians die due to their tobacco use. This is nearly 16% of all deaths in the city. Another 40,000 suffer from illnesses like asthma, COPD, cancer, and heart disease.
  • About half of all smokers in the city will die from an illness caused by tobacco. Smoking kills more Philadelphians than homicide, AIDS, car accidents, diabetes, and illegal drugs combined.
  • Quitting smoking improves the health of smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke. 

2. An Increased Cigarette Tax will Reduce Smoking, especially among Youth

3. Low-income Groups and Minorities Benefit the Most from a Cigarette Tax Increase

4. A Cigarette Tax Will Benefit the Economy with Minimal Impact on Retailers
5. The Price of Cigarettes in Philadelphia is Lower than in Most Surrounding States
Sources
1Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philadelphia 2010 Vital Statistics Report (2012).

1U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012.

1Adapted from Stehr M. The Effect of Tobacco Control Policies and a City Wide $2 per Pack Cigarette Tax on Smoking, Health Care Costs, and Productivity in Philadelphia. LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, March 2012.

1Doohee Lee et al., Tobacco use and low-income African Americans: Policy implications, 32 Addictive Behaviors 332 (2007).

1Robert John, Marshall K. Cheney & M. Raihan Azad, Point-of-Sale Marketing of Tobacco Products: Taking Advantage of the Socially Disadvantaged?, 20 Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 489 (2009).

1M. Barton Laws et al., Tobacco availability and point of sale marketing in demographically contrasting districts of Massachusetts, 11 Tobacco Control ii71 (2002).

1Elizabeth M. Barbeau et al., Tobacco advertising in communities: associations with race and class, 40 Preventive Medicine 16 (2005).

1Edith D. Balbach et al., R.J. Reynolds’ Targeting of African Americans: 1988–2000, 93 American Journal of Public Health 822 (2003).

1Lois Biener, Reactions of Adult and Teenaged Smokers to the Massachusetts Tobacco Tax, 88 American Journal of Public Health 1389 (1998).

1Stehr M. The Effect of Tobacco Control Policies and a City Wide $2 per Pack Cigarette Tax on Smoking, Health Care Costs, and Productivity in Philadelphia. LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, March 2012.

1Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Cigarette Tax Increases, Retailers, and Jobs (April 6, 2011), available at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0330.pdf.

1Jidong Huang & Frank Chaloupka, The Economic Impact of State Cigarette Taxes and Smoke-free Air Policies on Convenience Stores (March 2011), available at http://www.impacteen.org/generalarea_PDFs/ITresearch40_Huang_with_exec_sum.pdf.

1Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Cigarette Tax Increases, Retailers, and Jobs (April 6, 2011), available at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0330.pdf.

1Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Excise and Sales Taxes Per Pack of Cigarettes Total Amounts & State Rankings (December 5, 2012), available at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0202.pdf

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