Smoking cigarettes as a habit began in 5000 BC. It was reintroduced in the late 17th century along the trade routes in Eurasia. The prevalence of smoking cigarettes in society took hold when automated cigarette rolling machines were invented. The popularity continued even with the habit being linked to cancer in the 1920s and 1950s. Since then smoking has been associated with emphysema, cancers, heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary diseases. Modern advertisements in the media such as radio, television, newspapers, and even billboards have been harnessed to create a negative view of smoking. Today, many cities around the world have smoking bans that are strictly enforced with large penalties.
Smoking and the Law
In the United States, tobacco laws differ as there are 16 states that allow smoking in restaurant and bars while 30 states have laws against smoking in these two public establishments. Although there are a few states that allow smoking in bars. On the other hand, some states have municipal and county laws that combine with state laws against smoking. South Dakota has a complete smoking ban in all public places. One of the methods in discouraging smokers in their habit is the levy of excise taxes that has apparently increased since 1965. Today, all cigarette excise taxes have grown to about 56.6% of the cost of a pack of cigarettes, according to Philip Morris. However, the United Kingdom stands as having the most excise taxes at 82.2%. This may not include the federal excise tax, municipal cigarette taxes, and sales taxes.
In the US, New York state leads all the other states with the highest excise taxes on a pack of cigarettes at $4.35USD. Connecticut is second with $3.90USD excise tax levied per pack of cigarettes sold in the state. Rhode Island is third at $3.75USD excise tax levied per pack of cigarettes sold in the state. Next is Massachusetts coming in as the fourth state with the highest excise tax on a pack of cigarettes at $3.51USD. Hawaii is fifth and not far behind with $3.20USD in excise taxes per pack of cigarettes sold in that state. Vermont is sixth state charging $3.08USD as excise tax per pack of cigarettes. The state of Washington is the seventh state charging an excise tax of $3.025USD per pack of cigarettes sold in that home state. Guam and Minnesota share the same excise taxes on a pack of cigarettes sold in their locales at $3.00USD. New Jersey also has a high excise tax of $2.70USD for every pack of cigarettes sold in that state.
US Smoking Ban Methods
High excise taxes has been found to decrease teenage smoking with a 7% drop for every 10% increase in excise taxes. Statistics show that high excise taxes on cigarettes have substantially lowered smoking rates today. Not all tobacco products have high levies imposed on them or bans instituted. Smokeless tobacco has lower taxes than cigarettes. Although 49 US states have such taxes, Pennsylvania does not levy taxes on non-smoking tobacco products. Florida does not tax cigars. E-cigarettes are taxed in some US states.
Lung cancer deaths caused by tobacco smoking has been recognized in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, 2014 figures show that 224,210 new cases of lung cancer were reported in the country. 159,260 deaths resulted from this disease with cigarette smoking being the primary culprit. A number of other cancers have also been linked to snuff use and tobacco chewing.