Center for State Tax Policy

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

Maryland Senate Approves Income Tax Hike; Sneaks in Tobacco Hike Too

Texas Margin Tax Experiment Failing Due to Collection Shortfalls, Perceived Unfairness for Taxing Unprofitable and Small Businesses, and Confusing Rules

State Tax Changes During 2010

Cigarette Tax Revenues Fall and Smuggling Spikes After Hefty Tax Hike in Bulgaria

Tax Foundation Report Outlines Significant State Tax Changes in 2010

A Review of 2010’s Changes In State Tax Policy

Wishful Thinking About Tax Burdens in Ohio

State Sales, Gasoline, Cigarette, and Alcohol Tax Rates by State, 2000-2014

Utah Senate Committee Rejects First of Two Cigarette Tax Increases

Georgia Should Respond to Recession with Tax Reform, Not Tax Gimmicks

Pennsylvania is Scene of Disappointing Budget Deals

Some States Respond to Budget Shortfalls with Tax Increases

Some States Approve Last Minute Budgets

New Podcast: Jamie Story of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii – Tax Hikes in the Aloha State

Nanny Tax Rap

And the [News] Beat Goes On: Another Sampling of Media Coverage From a Busy Tax Week

The Effect of the Federal Cigarette Tax Increase on State Revenue

2009 State Sales, Gasoline, Cigarette, and Alcohol Tax Rates

Map: State Cigarette Tax Rates, 2009

Economic Growth Requires Bold Steps: Mississippi Should Consider Tax Reform Recommendations