Tobacco Tax Increase Would Help County Health Programs

MACo submitted written testimony today to support SB 3 – Electronic Smoking Devices, Other Tobacco Products, and Cigarettes – Taxation and RegulationThe bill increases the tobacco tax rate on cigarettes and other tobacco products and imposes a tax on electronic smoking devices. It also removes the prohibition from local governments imposing a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products — enabling counties to access an additional tool for use in their own anti-tobacco strategies.

From the MACo Testimony:

These tax changes would generate revenues that can be used to advance state and local public health efforts and other priorities.

Additionally, the bill requires the Governor to increase annual funding for the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program. Tobacco use is not only the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., it leads to thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases of tobacco-related diseases in Maryland alone.

Local health departments oversee and implement county tobacco control policies. Increasing the funding for the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program from $10 million to $21 million would result in an estimated $3.9 million for local health departments. This funding would directly support crucial local priorities including addressing youth use of tobacco and vaping products, tobacco cessation classes, and tobacco treatment programs.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.