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As others see it: Tax jump cuts smoking

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opinion Worthington, 56187
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

Smoking remain a public health issue throughout the United States, creating long-term health risk for individuals as well as significant health costs at the local, state and federal levels.

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A recent USA TODAY newspaper analysis indicates that a 2009 federal tobacco tax hike has resulted in a significant drop in smoking.

This trending change is especially significant among the teen population segment, the poor and individuals relying on government health insurance.

These three sectors are especially significant as those same sectors account for nearly two-thirds of the smoking population.

The 2009 increase in the federal cigarette tax from 39 cents to $1.01 per pack was a major increase. The resulting cost drove cigarette prices up about 22 percent overnight and drove down smoking.

This price hike has now resulted in 3 million fewer smokers now compared to 2009, according to USA TODAY. Overall, the percent of adults smoking has dropped to 18.9 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Additional factors are also helping reduce smoking, such as smoke-free facilities, smokefree grounds and tobacco marketing restrictions.

The smoking reduction, especially among adults on Medicaid, will help reduce future health care costs for both the individual as well government.

This specific tax hike is having a positive impact on American health and government spending.

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