DC Council Approves $2 Cigarette Tax Increase

On May 29, the DC Council unanimously approved its 2019 budget, including $1 million new dollars for tobacco cessation programs at the DC Department of Health and funding to implement Washington, DC’s Tobacco 21 law. This was made possible by a 10-2 Council vote on May 15, which raised the District’s cigarette tax by $2, to $4.50/pack.

This legislation will make DC’s state cigarette tax the highest in the nation, and is projected to prevent 2,000 deaths, help over 5,000 adults quit, and reduce youth smoking by 21%. The legislation was introduced and championed by Councilmember Vincent Gray. AHA led the campaign in partnership with the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and others. Greater Washington Board member Dr. Federico Asch and You’re the Cure advocate Deb Wells played critical volunteer roles to ensure success.

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