Starting September 1, 2023, New York State will increase the excise tax on cigarettes and little cigars by $1, reaching a total of $5.35 per pack.
This marks the first such increase since July 1, 2010, and is anticipated to spur attempts to quit smoking. The New York State Smokers’ Quitline (NY Quitline), a free and confidential service, is preparing for a rise in program participation.
During the last tax hike in 2010, when the rate was raised from $2.75 to $4.35 a pack, the Quitline experienced an increase in calls for three consecutive months.
Paula Celestino, director of client relations and outreach for the NY Quitline, emphasized that the tax increase will “help save lives” by motivating more adults to quit and deterring youth from starting. The Quitline provides various support services, including coaching, free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) medications, online chat with specialists, and a text messaging program. Research indicates that cost plays a major role in the decision to quit smoking, and many past participants have cited cost savings as a reason to maintain a tobacco-free lifestyle.
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