week, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act (S.194),
a bill that seeks to make taxes on pipe tobacco equivalent to cigarette
tobacco, reports The Hill. Senate Bill 194 would make all tobacco
products taxed at the same rate as a pack of cigarettes, which carries
the highest federal excise tax among all tobacco products at $1.01 per
“This difference in tax rates doesn’t make sense, and
tobacco manufacturers are abusing them by changing the labels on their
products to avoid paying the higher tax. This bill will stop tobacco
manufacturers from gaming the system, and protect more children and
teens from this dangerous habit,” Durbin said.
The senators say that closing loopholes in the tobacco tax code would generate roughly $3.6 billion over 10 years.
including the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the American Lung
Association support the bill. According to Altria spokesperson David
Sutton, the company will review the legislation to assess the specifics
of the senators’ proposals. (NACS: www.nacsonline.com)