About the Campaign
The Invest in a Healthy Louisiana campaign comprises numerous public health groups spearheading the effort to reduce the burden of tobacco use in Louisiana through an increase in the state’s tobacco tax. The Invest Campaign envisions a healthier Louisiana with fewer children starting to smoke, more smokers quitting, and increased revenue for the state. It is a win-win-win for Louisiana.
With the nation’s 7th highest smoking rate among the states – and 4,700 kids every year becoming new daily smokers – the need for action is clear. More than 7,000 Louisianans die each year from smoking, and nearly 100,000 kids alive today will ultimately die prematurely from smoking if we don’t change the landscape. In addition, smoking directly causes $1.9 billion in annual health-care costs in the state, more than $800 million of that money covered by the state Medicaid program. And what are we up against? The tobacco industry spends $9.6 billion annually to market its deadly products, including $220 million in Louisiana alone.
The Louisiana Legislature in 2015 voted to increase the cigarette tax by 50 cents a pack, but this increase did not go far enough. The state’s cigarette tax is still only 86 cents a pack – ranking it 36th among the states (in the bottom third) and equaling barely half the national average. Small tax increases do not produce significant public health benefits or cost savings because the industry can easily offset the price changes with their discount strategies. Louisiana residents deserve better. Continue to support a higher cigarette tax.
Our mission is to help enact an increase in the state’s low tobacco rate to reduce smoking while bringing in more revenue to help the state’s budget. An increase in the state’s tobacco tax rate is a wise investment in Louisiana’s kids and Louisiana’s future.
- Increasing the cigarette tax by $1.25 per pack. A $1.25 increase in the cigarette tax will prevent 15,900 premature smoking-caused deaths in the state, reduce Louisiana’s youth smoking rate substantially, by more than 14 percent, encourage more than 34,000 Louisianans to quit smoking and prevent 22,800 kids from becoming smokers.
- Equalizing the Other Tobacco Products (OTP) tax to the new cigarette tax. Currently, the tax rates on OTPs vary by product and range from 8 percent to 33 percent of the manufacturer’s price. Raising the OTP tax will help ensure that kids don’t use these products because they are cheaper.
- Investing in tobacco use prevention and cessation. Funding for the state’s tobacco prevention and cessation program will prevent even more kids from starting to use tobacco products and help people quit, generating both health and cost savings benefits for the state.
GET THE FACTS
- Why increase the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products?
- Myths and Facts
- Raising Cigarette Taxes Reduces Smoking, Especially Among Kids (And the Cigarette Companies Know It)
- Tobacco Tax Increases Are a Reliable Source of Substantial New State Revenue
- Responses to Misleading and Inaccurate Cigarette Company Arguments Against State Cigarette Tax Increases
- The Toll of Tobacco in Louisiana
adult smoking rate in the U.S.
become daily smokers each year