Senator Parker Raises Cigarette Taxes to Save Lives


Senator Parker Raises Price to Save Lives

Introduces bill that raises cigarettes taxes to fund anti-smoking initiatives

For Immediate Release: March 29, 2011

(Brooklyn, NY)  Senator Parker has introduced a bill (S.2981) that would raise the price of cigarettes from an average of  $10 a pack to an average cost of $11.65 a pack.  The expected earnings of this increase will be $191 million dollars, this doesn’t include the immeasurable societal health benefits.  Under Senator Parker’s legislation the money from the cigarette tax will not be used to balance the budget.  Instead he has created a dedicated fund to be used for smoking cessation and prevention programs for adults, teenagers and youth.


“My father lost his life to smoke related illness in 2007 and  I would like to accomplish all that I can to decrease the consumption and risk of death caused by smoking,” said Senator Parker.  Based on data collected from 1995 to 1999, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that adult male smokers lost an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lost 14.5 years of life because of smoking.


Studies have shown that between 2000 and 2010, the New York City high-school smoking rate has declined from approximately 27% to only 12.6%.  According to the American Lung Association, annual smoking-related health care expenditures for New York State are $8.17 billion each year. This translates to $894 per household each year.


Last year, New York increased its tax on cigarettes from $2.75 per pack to $4.35 per pack.  This boosted New York revenues by approximately $440 million and decreased consumption. “I cannot ignore the positive benefits that have come from increasing the cigarette tax.  An increase in the cigarette tax has proven to be beneficial to the state in terms of health and finances.” Says Senator Parker.”



About Senator Kevin Parker

Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse community that consists of 311,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington and Borough Park. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, former Majority Whip and First Vice Chair or the Association of Black, Puerto Rican Asian Legislators.