Erik Befrits – NIcotine and Science Media Update December 12th 2014

For years I have been swimming against the tide and arguing that cigarette taxes are too high. There are two reasons. First, as a practical matter, sky-high cigarette taxes ($5.85 a pack in New York City) are extremely difficult to enforce. The opportunities for arbitrage are irresistible. Multinationals earn profits in the United States and book them in tax havens. Smugglers buy cigarettes in Virginia […] and sell them in Staten Island.


According to a law amendment proposal submitted to Parliament by an MP of the ruling Fidesz party, tobacco companies in Hungary will be subject to a special levy, which would be progressive and depend on total revenues. Analysts at the Fiscal Responsibility Institute Budapest (FRIB) showed on a telling chart which companies will benefit and which will suffer next year as a result of the new legislation.


The current study, from researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, found that using both snus and the milder tobacco smoked through hookah pipes increased teens’ and young adults’ risk of becoming regular cigarette smokers. About one in five boys and one in six girls have used hookah in the past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Despite collecting billions in tobacco-related revenues, states plan to spend relatively little on control and prevention programs in the 2015 fiscal year. Only two states—North Dakota and Alaska—plan to spend as much on tobacco control and prevention as recommended by the CDC, according to the report, titled “Broken Promises to Our Children” and produced by a coalition of groups including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids […]


It’s hardly a secret that the number of smokers in the United States is on the decline. Altria sustained a 3.5% drop in smoking volumes for its Philip Morris USA division over the first nine months of the year. Going forward, Altria management forecasts a 3%-4% long-term annual volume decline. With this in mind, it’s not hard to see why the company’s revenue is falling — down 1% net of excise taxes through just the first three quarters of 2014.


London — Several of the world’s biggest tobacco companies pledged on Wednesday to end child labour in their supply chains, a landmark agreement a rights group said could protect thousands of children from hazardous work in tobacco fields. Philip Morris International, Japan Tobacco International and British American Tobacco were among the firms that signed the pledge, […]



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