Maryland General Assembly Makes the Health of All Marylanders a Priority Raises Tobacco Tax, Funds Tobacco Control

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – March 18, 2020 – Today the Maryland General Assembly took an important stand to protect public health by increasing funding for tobacco control and cessation programs and raising the state tobacco tax. The American Heart Association applauds the General Assembly for making such a significant investment in tobacco programs to combat the epidemic of tobacco use. The evidence is clear that raising the price of tobacco is the most effective way to help people quit or to never start. Strengthened tobacco control polices under the new law include:

•$1.75 increase per pack of cigarettes (to $3.75/pack)

•$18.25 million in funding for tobacco control and cessation programs

•53% wholesale tax on other tobacco products (including smokelesstobacco)

•Pipe Tobacco, Premium Cigars, and Cigars remain taxed at currentlevels

•12% sales tax on Electronic Smoking Devices

•60% sales tax on Vaping Liquid less than 5mL

“Today’s vote improves public health in Maryland and will continue to drive down tobacco and nicotine addiction, the leading cause of preventable death in our state. This incredible win for all Marylanders would not have happened without the leadership of Del. Eric Luedtke and Sen. Cory McCray, said Laura Hale, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association, “they led the way and pushed hard to protect public health.”

Not only will this new revenue protect the health of all Maryland’s kids by investing in the tobacco control program, but they will also support COVID-19 emergency response and additional funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Maryland. Now the legislation heads to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk for signature, and we encourage him to do so quickly.

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