Cigarette and Tobacco Taxes

The nation’s first federal cigarette tax was enacted in 1864 as a Civil War revenue measure. In 2005 the federal cigarette tax stood at 37 cents per pack. The nation’s first state-level cigarette excise tax was enacted in Iowa in 1921. By 1969 all 50 U.S. states had followed suit. In 2005 state-level cigarette taxes ranged from 7 cents per pack in South Carolina to $2.46 per pack in Rhode Island. The wide variety of state cigarette excise taxes provides opportunities for consumers to shop for bargains across borders—and for smugglers to make substantial profits.


Featured Research

How Stable is Cigarette Tax Revenue?

July 9, 2020

State Tax Changes Effective July 1, 2020

July 9, 2020

Taxing Nicotine Products: A Primer

January 22, 2020

Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2017

December 4, 2019

Vaping Taxes Should Be Carefully Designed

September 12, 2019

State Tax Changes as of July 1, 2019

July 11, 2019


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