OKLAHOMA – Sales in the tobacco industry are down, a year after Oklahoma began implementing a cigarette tax hike.
Sales are down 25 percent after the state approved a dollar-per-pack increase last year. Oklahoma State Department of Health Officials say they did expect those numbers to decline. In fact, studies show when you increase the tax of a product, the amount consumed usually goes down. So, the department will conduct a full analysis to see the entire scope of the tax hike in the next few months.
“So we’ll look at increased helpline utilization’s. So within the first two months of the tax increase for July and August we saw 61 percent increase in registrations for the helpline. When you compare it to July and August of 2017. So we know more people were going to the helpline.”Christin Kirchenbauer, Oklahoma State Department Of Health
Despite the tax hike over the past year, cigarette sales still brought in $104 million in tax revenue.