MD Health Group Pushes for Tobacco Tax Increase
MD Citizens’ Health Initiative wants $1 increase
Associated Press/NBC Washington
Thursday, Oct 6, 2011 | Updated 6:28 AM EDT
By Kelvin Robinson
If one public health group has its way, the next time you light up in Maryland it could cost you an extra buck.
The Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative plans to launch a campaign next week for a $1 increase to the state’s tobacco tax.
The group hopes to build off prior successes, including a push back in 2007 that led lawmakers to increase the tax from $1 to $2 a pack in a special session.
Maryland’s tobacco tax currently ranks eleventh in the nation, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. If the tax were to increase to $3 a pack, Maryland would jump to sixth, just behind Washington State.
The top three cigarette taxes in the nation are New York at $4.35 per pack, Rhode Island at $3.46 per pack and Connecticut at $3.40 per pack. The District ranks tenth on the list. No surprise, Virginia, sometimes referred to as “The Tobacco State,” ranked 50th.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC Washington