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Smoking declines as taxes increase
The amount of decline in smoking is directly tied to the size of the tax increase, the analysis shows.
Cigarette sales fell 18% in North Carolina last year after the tax was raised in two steps to 35 cents from a nickel. The tobacco-growing state resisted higher cigarette taxes until 2005. Elsewhere:
•Connecticut has increased its tax to $1.51 from 50 cents per pack in 2002. Since then, per capita consumption of cigarettes has fallen 37%.
•New Jersey raised its tax to $2.40 from 80 cents in 2002. Smoking has dropped 35%.
•California raised its cigarette tax to 87 cents per pack in 1999 but hasn't changed it since. Smoking is down 18% since the tax increase.
By comparison, South Carolina has kept its lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax at 7 cents since 1977. Cigarette consumption there has fallen 5% since 2000.