A bill (LB438) that would raise taxes on a pack of cigarettes from 64 cents to $2.14 could get another look during the 2018 legislative session.
The bill’s sponsor is Omaha Sen. Sara Howard who rationalizes that raising the tax would deter youth from smoking and provide revenue for the state.
Cindy Jeffrey is with Public Health Association of Nebraska and Nebraska Health Education estimates thousand of youth under 18 would be kept from becoming adult smokers.
Supporters say raising the tax would also generate additional money for public health services…such as public health departments, community health centers and a tobacco prevention and control program.
Several entities oppose a bump in tobacco taxes including the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association and the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce.