Price

Keep tobacco prices high 

Minnesotans agree: We can do more to prevent kids from becoming addicted. Since the tobacco tax increase of 2013, Minnesota has experienced historic drops in smoking. Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation supports high tobacco prices. It is the most effective way to prevent kids from starting to smoke and to save them from a lifetime of addiction to tobacco. High prices are also effective in helping adults to quit smoking. 

High tobacco prices prevent kids from starting, encourage adults to quit and save the state millions in health care costs.

  • The 2013 tobacco tax increase worked. Fewer young people are starting to smoke.1
  • Minnesotans support high tobacco prices to improve health and want more done to prevent youth use.2
  • The tobacco industry aggressively markets to youth and young adults to recruit replacement smokers and guarantee profits.3

The 2013 tobacco tax increase worked. Fewer young people are starting to smoke.

  • The Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey showed that for the first time ever, fewer than 10 percent of high-school students smoke cigarettes.4 
  • Smoking among 18-to-24-year-olds fell to 15 percent in 2014 from 22 percent in 2010.5 
  • Youth are two to three times more responsive than adults to price increases.6 Every 10 percent increase in cigarette prices reduces youth smoking prevalence by more than 5 percent7  and youth initiation by 10 percent.8 

Minnesotans support high tobacco prices to improve health.

  • A majority of Minnesotans – 64 percent – support the $1.60 tobacco tax increase.9 
  • A strong majority of Minnesotans – 83 percent – are concerned about youth tobacco use.10 
  • 74 percent of Minnesotans support increasing the price of other tobacco products such as snus, chew and little cigars.11 

The tobacco industry aggressively markets to youth and young adults to recruit replacement smokers and guarantee profits.

  • The U.S. Surgeon General called the tobacco industry the root cause of the smoking epidemic because of its promotion of tobacco products to youth.12 
  • Almost all of addicted adult smokers start smoking in their teens.13,14 
  • Tobacco companies use cheap, flavored products as a way to entice young people to try tobacco and become addicted to nicotine.15,16
  • Minnesotans want more to be done to counter the industry. The Legislature should do more to create a smoke-free generation by raising the price of tobacco and preventing thousands of kids from starting.
 

For more information, view our fact sheet.



 

1 ClearWay Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey: Tobacco Use in Minnesota: 2014 Update. February 2015.

In press. Boyle et al.. . Examining quit attempts and successful quitting after a cigarette tax increase. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 2018.

3 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. New Revenues, Public Health Benefits & Cost Savings From a $1.50 Cigarette Tax Increase in Minnesota. Jan 2013.

4 Minnesota Department of Health. Teens and Tobacco in Minnesota: Highlights from the 2017 Youth Tobacco Survey

5 ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Minnesota Department of Health. Tobacco Use in Minnesota: 2014 Update. January 2015.

6 Bader P, Boisclair D, Ferrence R.  Effects of Tobacco Taxation and Pricing on Smoking Behavior in High Risk Populations: A Knowledge Synthesis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011.

7 Chaloupka FJ, Pacula RL. The impact of price on youth tobacco use. Changing Adolescent Smoking Prevalence, Tobacco Control Monograph 14: National Cancer Institute; 2001.

8 Tauras JA, O'Malley PM, Johnston LD. Effects of Price and Access Laws on Teenage Smoking Initiation: A National Longitudinal Analysis. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No 8331. June 2001.

9 Ragsdale, Jim. “Minnesota Poll shows support for DFL tax hikes.” Star Tribune Minneapolis June 18, 2013.

10 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Minnesota E-cigarette Survey by the Morris Leatherman Company, Jan. 2014.

11 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Minnesota Tobacco Tax Study by Decision Resources, Ltd. Dec. 2012.

12 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. 2014.

13 Institute of Medicine. Public health implications of raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2015.

14 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality; September 2011.

15 Gemma JL (RJR Tobacco). Memorandum from JL Gemma, Marketing Development Department to Marketing Development Department Committee at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. Aug 16. 1985; https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/#id=rlfw0082.

16 Marketing Innovations Inc (Brown and Williamson Tobacco). Youth cigarettes - new concepts. https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/#id=pgwc0205: UCSF Tobacco secret documents; 1972.

  • Outline of Minnesota

    Our Mission

    Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation is a coalition of Minnesota organizations that share a common goal of saving Minnesota youth from a lifetime of addiction to tobacco. Each year in Minnesota tobacco use is responsible for more than 6,300 deaths and more than $3 billion in preventable health care costs and 95 percent of adult smokers started before the age of 21. The coalition supports policies that reduce youth smoking, including keeping tobacco prices high, raising the tobacco sale age to 21, limiting access to candy-, fruit- and menthol-flavored tobacco and funding future tobacco prevention programs.

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