Wisconsin by 8f7sAU


									FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 10, 2010
CONTACT: Dan Cronin or Ashley Rockhold, 202-296-5469

 New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $84.4 Million for Wisconsin
                             And Cut Youth Smoking
 National Poll Finds Voters Prefer Tobacco Tax to Other Tax Increases, Budget Cuts

Washington, DC (February 10, 2010) – Raising Wisconsin’s cigarette tax by $1 per pack
would bring in $84.4 million in new annual revenue to help close the state’s budget
shortfall, while also reducing smoking and saving lives, according to a national report
released today by a coalition of public health organizations.

The report comes as states grapple with unprecedented budget shortfalls and face
devastating cuts to education, health care and other essential public services. The report
details the revenue and health benefits to each state of a $1 cigarette tax increase.

In Wisconsin, a $1 cigarette tax increase would also:
 Prevent 38,800 kids from becoming smokers;
 Spur 20,500 current adult smokers to quit;
 Save 17,800 residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths; and
 Save $873.8 million in health care costs.

A nationwide poll released along with the report found that 67 percent of voters support a
$1 tobacco tax increase, with backing from large majorities of Republicans (68 percent),
Democrats (70 percent) and Independents (64 percent).

The poll found that voters far prefer raising the state tobacco tax to other options for
addressing state budget deficits. While 60 percent favored increasing the tobacco tax for
this purpose, more than 70 percent opposed every other option presented, including
higher state income, gasoline and sales taxes and cuts to education, health care,
transportation and law enforcement programs.

“This report shows that raising tobacco taxes is truly a win-win-win for Wisconsin. It is
a budget win that will help protect vital programs like health care and education, a health
win that will prevent kids from smoking and save lives, and a political win with the
voters,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The report was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer
Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung
Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It is titled Tobacco Taxes: A Win-
Win-Win for Cash-Strapped States.

Currently, Wisconsin’s cigarette tax is $2.52 per pack, which ranks 6th in the nation. The
national average is $1.34 per pack. The scientific evidence is clear that increasing
cigarette prices is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among
kids. States will achieve even greater revenue and health gains if they also increase tax
rates on other tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco and cigars, and if they
dedicate a portion of their new tobacco tax revenue to fund programs that prevent kids
from smoking and help smokers quit.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. In
Wisconsin, tobacco use claims 7,200 lives and costs the state $2.02 billion in health care
bills each year. Currently, 16.9 percent of the state’s high school students smoke, and
28,100 kids try cigarettes for the first time each year.

The national survey of 847 registered voters was conducted from January 20-24, 2010,
by International Communications Research and has a margin of error of plus or minus
3.4 percentage points. More information, including the full report, state-specific
information and detailed poll results, can be found at


To top