A Look Back at 2015’s Cigarette, Tobacco and Vapor Taxes

Eight states raised cigarette and OTP taxes last year

By 
Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

cigarette tax

MINNEAPOLIS -- After only two states increased cigarette tax rates in 2014, eight states enacted higher cigarette and/or tobacco product tax rates in 2015. At the same time, 16 state legislatures failed to pass proposed cigarette and/or tobacco tax increases.

The eight states that raised cigarette and/or tobacco product taxes in 2015 include the following:

Alabama:After not increasing the cigarette tax since 2004, the state’s cigarette tax rate was raised by 25 cents per pack for a new rate of 67.5 cents per pack effective Oct. 1, 2015.

Connecticut: As a part of a two-year cigarette tax increase, the state’s cigarette tax was increase by 25 cents per pack effective Oct. 1, 2015 for a new rate of $3.65 per pack with another 25 cents-per-pack increase to $3.90 per-pack effective July 1, 2016.

Kansas: With the last cigarette tax increase being in 2003, the Kansas cigarette tax rate was raised by 50 cents per pack for a new rate of $1.29 per pack effective July 1, 2015.

Louisiana: The Louisiana cigarette tax was last increased in 2002. During the 2015 legislative session, the state’s cigarette tax rate was increased by 32 cents per pack for a new rate of 86 cents per pack effective July 1, 2015.

Nevada: The Nevada legislature passed and Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law a $1.00 per pack cigarette tax increase for a new cigarette tax rate of $1.80 per pack effective July 1, 2015.

Ohio: The Ohio cigarette tax rate was increased by 35 cents per pack for a new cigarette tax rate of $1.60 per pack effective July 1, 2015.

Rhode Island: After enacting a cigarette tax increase in 2012, the Rhode Island increased the cigarette tax rate again in 2015 by 25 cents per pack for a new cigarette tax rate of $3.75 per pack effective Aug. 1, 2015.

Vermont: The state’s cigarette tax rate, and by statutory definition the little cigar tax rate, were increased by 33 cents per pack for a new cigarette and little cigar tax rate of $3.08 per pack effective July 1, 2015. The state tax on smokeless tobacco products was increased to $2.57 per ounce or, if packaged in quantities of less than 1.2 ounces, $3.08 per package.

Regarding taxes on e-cigarettes and nicotine vapor products, 26 state legislatures considered bills in 2015 to assess a tax on e-cigarettes and nicotine products. The District of Columbia and two states enacted a new tax on e-cigarettes and vapor products. The new assessed taxes are as follows:

District of Columbia: A tax at the rate of 67 cents per milliliter of nicotine was passed and went into effect on Oct. 1, 2015.

Kansas: A tax at the rate of 20 cents per milliliter of nicotine was enacted and goes into effect on July 1, 2016.

Louisiana: A tax at the rate of 5 cents per milliliter of nicotine was enacted and went into effect on Aug. 1, 2015.