For many Missouri health advocates, an increase in the state’s tobacco tax is long overdue.
At 17 cents per cigarette pack, it’s the lowest in the country by far – a fraction of the tax in many states. And it hasn’t changed since 1993.
Groups like the American Lung Association say Missouri’s low cigarette prices are a major reason the state has one of the highest smoking rates in the country. Twenty-two percent of Missouri adults smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.