Massachusetts’ proposed cigar tax increase would not improve health outcomes

In Politics by Michael Rae

The intent to limit tobacco use among youth is to be applauded. However, given Massachusetts’ already extremely low rates of youth smoking and the unintended consequences stemming from the state’s recent ban on flavored tobacco products, S.1848 should raise concern that the state will enlarge the already substantial illicit tobacco trade, push sales and tax revenue to other jurisdictions, and punish premium cigar stores and lounges that have almost no appeal to youth.

The Illicit Market and Youth Smoking

Massachusetts’ ban on flavored tobacco products went into effect in June 2020. Jacob James Rich, a researcher with the Center for Evidence-Based Care