Overall strong support for increased tobacco tax in Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 13, 2016) — Following initiatives last year for increasing cigarette taxes statewide, various state leaders have proposed a 10% increase in the Tennessee state tax as a way to reduce smoking prevalence and infant mortality. Currently, the average state cigarette tax is $1.61 per pack; Tennessee has a tax of $0.62.
According to a new icitizen poll of 513 registered voters statewide in Tennessee, there is sound backing for a proposed 10% cigarette tax increase. The Tennessee cigarette tax is broadly supported, with 69% in favor and 31% opposed. Nearly half (47%) “strongly” favor this measure.
“It is inspiring to see residents speak up for a healthier Tennessee,” said Senator Bill Frist, MD, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and chairman of NashvilleHealth. “If we were able to get the Tennessee smoking rate down to the national average of 16.8%, we would have nearly 400,000 fewer Tennesseans at risk for tobacco-related illnesses and deaths. We lose too many of our loved ones to preventable, smoking-related diseases. Lawmakers should listen to the people on this issue and pass sensible tobacco control legislation.”
Even among voters who rate their economic situation as “fair” or “poor,” 65% favor the proposed Tennessee smoking tax increase (35% oppose). Support is notably higher among newer residents of Tennessee (74%). Two-thirds (67%) of Republicans and seven-in-ten Democrats (69%) support an increase.
“We saw strong voter approval that crosses party lines, gender, age and region,” said icitizen Director of Research and Polling Dr. Mark Keida. “While support is softer in East Tennessee and among lower-income Tennesseans, no main subgroup is below two-thirds support. This shows that Tennesseans overall agree on the benefits that this tax has on the health of the state’s residents.”
icitizen conducted a survey of 513 registered Tennessee voters, age 18 and over. The survey was conducted from April 1-4, 2016. Data were balanced by age, gender and region to reflect the composition of registered voters in Tennessee. The survey was conducted online with commercial opt-in sample. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 4.3, and higher for subgroups. Results were rounded to the nearest point. For more information on this poll and methodology, please contact email@example.com.
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