Louisiana was one of a number of states, including Texas and Rhode Island, where legislators tried to roll back the taxes on tobacco or allow the taxes to expire - moves the American Cancer Society said drain state budgets of needed revenue and jeopardize public health.
The findings are part of a report released Thursday by the American Cancer Society Action Network. The report shows that a majority of states fall short when it comes to legislative solutions to prevent and fight cancer.
The Louisiana Legislature was one of many legislative bodies that missed opportunities to enact laws and policies that could not only save money and generate revenue but also save lives, the report says.
The report, “How Do You Measure Up?”, ranks state policies in five priority areas: breast and cervical cancer early detection program funding; colorectal screening coverage laws; smoke-free laws; tobacco prevention program funding; and tobacco taxes.
Only two states, Missouri and Virginia, had lower cigarette taxes than Louisiana’s 36 cents per pack. New York had the highest cigarette tax, $4.35 per pack.