Iowa increases tobacco tax
Iowa Department of Public Health Interim Director Mary Jones says, "An increase in the tobacco tax is a historic accomplishment for the public's health in Iowa. It will prevent Iowa youth from starting to smoke and save the lives of adult smokers who quit.
This is a significant vote by the Iowa Legislature to increase the state's tobacco tax by $1, and I commend the Legislature for their dedication to improving the health of Iowans. I want to thank Governor Culver and his administration for their leadership and commitment in promoting and protecting the health of Iowans. Also, I want to commend the thousands of Iowans and numerous statewide organizations that continue to educate Iowans about the true impact of tobacco use and work tirelessly to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.
The $1 per pack increase will reduce youth smoking by 19 percent, will prevent 6,350 smoking-affected births over 5 years, will entice 20,200 Iowa adult smokers to quit and will reduce the number of packs of cigarettes sold in Iowa by 73.4 million. Additionally, in 5 years the state will save $9 million in health care costs treating smoking-caused heart attack and stroke and $10.8 million treating smoking-related birth and pregnancy complications. The long-term healthcare savings in the state from adult and youth smoking declines will be $867.4 million.
Whether you are just thinking about it, are ready to stop smoking, or have quit and are trying to stay tobacco-free, Quitline Iowa is the state's smoking-cessation hotline for all Iowans. The toll-free number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-866-822-2857 for services for the hearing-impaired. Counselors are available from 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week and services are provided in many languages. You will receive guidance and support on quitting, referrals to local cessation services, information through the mail, and follow-up calls to assist in your efforts to quit."