A recently published study (Preventive Medicine, December 2017) examined how cigarette excise tax rates differ for population groups defined by race, ethnicity, poverty status, and sexual orientation, and how these differences have evolved over time.
- In 2014, the average U.S. resident was required to pay $2.68 in cigarette taxes, more than 60% of which was due to state and local taxation.
- On average, Asian/Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations faced the highest average tax ($2.95), which was $0.44 more than American Indian populations.
- Local taxes disproportionately augmented state and federal taxes for non-White populations, same-sex couples, and people living in poverty.
- Geographic variation in cigarette excise taxes produces sociodemographic variation in cigarette tax exposure.
The researchers’ recommendation included raising cigarette taxes specifically in those places where groups at risk for tobacco-related disease are more likely to live, or otherwise creating geographically uniform tax levels, could reduce important disparities in cigarette smoking.
Source: Golden et al. (2017). Disparities in cigarette tax exposure by race, ethnicity, poverty and sexual orientation, 2006-2014. Preventive Medicine, Dec, [Epub ahead of print]