Tobacco Control Issues
Other Tobacco Products
Taxes on cigarettes reduce the number of adult and youth smokers and so do taxes on other tobacco products, such as snuff, chew, spit tobacco and cigars.
But, Pennsylvania only taxes cigarettes. Pennsylvania is the only state that does not tax other tobacco products.
Even when other tobacco products are taxed, they’re usually taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes, making them more appealing and affordable, particularly to youth. Unfortunately, these products are just as dangerous as cigarettes.
By increasing the prices of other tobacco products by just 10 percent, adult consumption drops by 3.7 percent and male youth consumption by 5.9 percent, studies show. So when other tobacco products are taxed the same way as cigarettes, consumption of these equally dangerous tobacco products drops.
Taxes based on weight vs. price
States tax other tobacco products in different ways – usually based on the products’ weight or price.
Taxes based on price are most effective and fairest because it means all tobacco products are being taxed at equal rates.
Taxes based on weight are less effective, because the high-priced products tend to be lighter. Weight-based taxes ultimately lower the price of higher-priced brands, making them more affordable and more appealing to both adults and youth.