Reducing Tobacco Use Through Increased Excise Taxes

Increasing tobacco excise taxes is one of the most effective ways to reduce youth smoking because they are more sensitive to price increases. The Missouri Partnership on Smoking or Health fully supports increasing Missouri's Excise Tax.

Studies show that higher tobacco taxes will provide an incentive for lower and middle income smokers to quit. Also when funding generated by tobacco tax increases is dedicated to tobacco use prevention and cessation, tobacco use by both youth and adults is dramatically reduced.

Missouri's Excise Tax (149.015 RSMo) passed in 1993 is 17 cents per pack of cigarettes, ninth lowest in the nation. According to Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids the nations average tobacco tax is 61 cents per pack.


Recently, through Proposition A, there was a movement to try to increase the excise tax 55 cents and to dedicate funding to improve health care treatment and access, increase hospital trauma and emergency preparedness, promote life science research, tobacco use prevention and cessation, and early childhood care and education. The initiative was narrowly defeated.

In Missouri, local communities cannot pass or increase their tobacco excise taxes (communities that had tobacco excise taxes before the state law was passed) because of preemptive language in state excise tax law.

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Missouri Partnership on Smoking or Health, 420 E. State Street, Suite A, Jefferson City, MO 65101