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.


Related Articles

Kentucky Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto to Pass Tax Reform Package

April 16, 2018

Vapor Taxes by State, 2018

March 28, 2018

Kentucky Needs Tax Reform, Not Cigarette Tax Hikes

February 28, 2018

Watch: Tax Foundation Excise Tax Event

February 26, 2018

Testimony: Should D.C. Have the Highest State Cigarette Tax in the Country?

February 1, 2018

How High Are Cigarette Tax Rates in Your State?

January 25, 2018

Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2015

November 6, 2017

Sparks Continue to Fly in Oklahoma Cigarette Fee Debate

August 4, 2017

How High Are Vapor Excise Taxes in Your State?

June 29, 2017

A Bevy of Tax Bills To Raise Long-Term Revenue in Delaware

June 28, 2017

Oklahoma Cigarette Fee Under Fire

June 26, 2017

South Dakota Lights Up Revenue Uncertainty with Proposed Tobacco Tax Hike

June 23, 2017

Minnesota Budget Squabbles Might Spur Lawsuit

June 8, 2017

How High Are Cigarette Taxes in Your State?

May 10, 2017

What to Make of the West Virginia Senate’s Ambitious Tax Overhaul Legislation

March 21, 2017

Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2014

January 17, 2017

Competing Visions for Tobacco Taxes in Colorado and North Dakota

November 1, 2016

Lunch Links: Schumer Pushes for Social Security Boost; Impact of Passing Tobacco Tax Initiatives in Missouri; Marylanders to Vote on Further Tax for Subway Improvements

October 24, 2016

Proposition 56: Will Californians Triple Their Cigarette Tax?

October 18, 2016

Lunch Links: Repeal of Vapor Tax Passed by Pennsylvania House Committee; Oklahomans to Vote on Sales Tax Increase to Fund Education; Fitch Lowers West Virginia Ranking on ‘Weak’ Demographics and Drop in Coal/Natural Gas Demand

September 29, 2016