Oklahoma Cigarette Price Increase is a Big Win for Kids and Health
Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Jun. 1 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The $1.50-per-pack increase in the price of cigarettes that Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law today is truly a win-win-win solution for Oklahoma. It’s a health win that will reduce tobacco use and save lives, a financial win that will help raise revenue and fund state health initiatives, and a political win that polls show is popular with voters. We applaud Gov. Fallin and legislative champions for siding with kids over the tobacco industry in supporting a significant increase in cigarette prices.
The evidence is clear that raising the price of cigarettes is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Nationally, studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. The $1.50 price increase will:
- Prevent more than 28,000 Oklahoma kids from becoming smokers
- Spur more than 30,000 current adult smokers to quit
- Save 16,700 Oklahomans from premature, smoking-caused deaths
- Save $1.2 billion in future health care costs.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Oklahoma, claiming 7,500 lives each year and costing the state more than $1.6 billion annually in health care bills. In Oklahoma, 14.6 percent of high school students still smoke (among the highest in the nation) and 2,400 kids become new regular smokers every year. Today’s action can help turn this unfortunate situation around.