Archived Story

Tobacco tax is worth saving lives

Published 10:31am Thursday, February 21, 2013

Most people don’t like to hear the word “tax,” but there is one instance where the word actually means money saved not just spent and that’s a cigarette tax.

Smoking takes more than 5,000 lives and costs Minnesotans more than $3 billion each year. It’s a cost we all pay whether we smoke or not. Raising the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack is estimated to prompt nearly 36,000 Minnesota smokers to quit and prevent nearly 47,000 kids from becoming addicted adults. Over the course of five years, fewer smokers means more than $5.6 million in savings from smoking-related lung cancer alone. It also means fewer Medicaid dollars spent treating preventable tobacco-related illness.

When you consider the lives and dollars saved in the long run by adding $1.50 per pack now, most would agree — and a majority of Minnesotans do agree — a tobacco tax is a tax worth doing.

Linda J. Baier


  1. Gus Broten

    absolutely………imagine how many lives could be saved by doing the same with alcohol!

  2. Nikki Kirsch

    Cigarette taxes have been raised significantly in the recent past already. I think it’s alcohol’s turn for the tax hike. Why punish only one potentially deadly, yet legal product’s users? I would argue that there are many more apparent harms that come with alcohol. Whether it’s used just once, occasionally or long term alcohol causes more potential harm to it’s users and those around them than cigarettes do. The cost to society is huge in many different areas and we all pay those costs, too.

  3. Randy Kruckeberg

    Well….. then let’s go after food it causes health issues people eat way too much and let’s mandate activity no more sitting around let’s have government run exercise program and tax all that is naughty. Then the taxes go to a wasteful organization that is run badly feel better about yourself now, what right do some people feel obligated to to butt into everybody else’s personal business.

    How about this I know it’s a dangerous concept let’s have some personal responsibility yep I said “personal responsibility” for your own actions and decisions bad behavior punishes good behavior rewards it’s so simple a nethanderal gets it.

    Freedom not what it was once was now comes in only “government approved” forms only.