Support newly proposed cirgarette tax increase in Chicago

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, nearly 90% of all smokers first started smoking by the time they were 18 years old.  According the American Cancer Society, the single most effective way to keep children from smoking is to raise the price of a pack of cigarettes. In fact, for every 10 percent increase in price, youth smoking rates decline by 6.5 percent.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to increase cigarette taxes by 75 cents is a win-win for Chicago. We will protect our children – and in turn use the revenue to invest in their future.

Some critics claim that this plan will just move cigarette sales off the shelves and into the black market. Let’s be honest, too many children are already getting cigarettes from adults or store owners who are more interested in profit than in our children. But the increase in price will still help reduce the demand, as previous studies have shown. And this is just one part of a much more comprehensive effort that the Mayor is undertaking to reduce smoking among youth that includes education programs, public awareness campaigns and increased enforcement.

This is why major anti-tobacco groups and community organizations have publicly applauded the Mayor’s efforts. Together, we will be able to reduce youth smoking, save lives, and thousands of healthcare dollars.