For Immediate Release
April 1, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Federal Tobacco Tax Increase Encourages Tobacco Users to Quit

Tobacco users will have additional motivation to quit with the rise in price of cigarettes and other tobacco products due to an increase in the federal tax on these products, along with further price increases by tobacco manufacturers. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is ready to help tobacco users quit with the free Kansas Tobacco Quitline, 1-866-KAN-STOP.

The federal tax on cigarettes, small cigars and roll-your-own tobacco increased to $1.01 per pack on April 1.  Previously the federal tax was $.39 per pack of cigarettes, $.037 per pack of small cigars and $.045 per pack of roll-your-own tobacco. Many tobacco manufacturers are also raising the retail price of their products.

“Quitting tobacco use or never starting to use tobacco are among the best things you can do for your health,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE.  “Each year, nearly 3,900 adult Kansans die from cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease from smoking. In addition to the substantial health benefits, quitting tobacco use will save you money. Studies show that increases in the price of tobacco products reduce tobacco use, reduce the number of new tobacco users and increase the number of people who quit.”

When Kansans are ready to quit tobacco use, American Cancer Society quit coaches at the Kansas Tobacco Quitline 1-866-KAN-STOP (1-866-526-7867) will work with callers during one-on-one telephone counseling sessions to develop a plan to quit.  Kansans can call the Quitline anytime day or night to start the process.  Once enrolled in the free service, callers will work with a personal quit coach who will set up sessions that fit the caller’s schedule.  During these sessions, callers will discuss the reasons they want to quit and find ways to handle challenges and barriers. Studies have found that using a tobacco Quitline can more than double a person’s chances of successfully quitting tobacco use.

The Kansas Tobacco Use Prevention Program manages the Kansas Tobacco Quitline 1-866-KAN-STOP (1-866-526-7867) and provides resources and technical assistance to community coalitions for development, enhancement and evaluation of state and local tobacco prevention initiatives. For additional information on the Tobacco Use Prevention Program, visit