LINCOLN, Neb. – Supporters of a bill that would more than triple Nebraska’s tax on cigarettes say it would discourage teenagers from smoking.
Doctors and other medical professionals urged a legislative committee on Friday to endorse a bill that would raise the state’s cigarette tax from 64 cents per pack to $2.14. Revenue from the additional $1.50 tax would be split between the state’s general fund and funds used for behavioral health programs.
Retailers say the increased tax would cause Nebraska smokers to buy cigarettes in other states. They say Nebraska stores along the Iowa border saw a boost in cigarette sales when Iowa raised its cigarette tax.
Nebraska’s cigarette tax is among the 10 lowest in the country.