On Visit To Oklahoma, Economist Touts Benefits Of Raising Cigarette Tax

By Jaclyn Cosgrove Staff Writer jcosgrove@oklahoman.comOklahoma would raise millions in new tax revenue and save thousands of lives by raising the cigarette tax to $1.50 per pack, a tobacco taxation expert said Tuesday. Frank J. Chaloupka, an economist who has extensively researched tobacco taxation, said during a presentation at the Stephenson Cancer Center that, if the state raised its cigarette tax, Oklahoma could raise $184 million in new tax revenue, stop 28,200 children from taking up smoking and encourage 30,400 adult smokers to quit. Additionally, almost 17,000 fewer Oklahomans would die from diseases caused by tobacco, he said. Every state that raises tobacco taxes sees significant increase in revenues and even though the revenue declines over time, it's slow and predictable, said Chaloupka, who serves as director of the World Health Organization's Collaborating Center on the Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control. "This is something where the revenues are going to be sustained over time," he said.Read more on NewsOK.com


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