Strong majority against raising cigarette tax - 437 participants, 789 responses

Dec 06, 2016

Earlier in November, voters in California passed Proposition 56, a ballot measure that increases the state’s cigarette tax by $2 with the proceeds going to fund tobacco cessation services and Medi-Cal, the state’s low income health care program. An attempt to raise the cigarette tax in New Hampshire failed in 2015. Read more about this issue. On October 30, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH raise the tax on cigarettes to help fund health care services?”

“Should NH raise the tax on cigarettes to help fund health care services?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Cigarette Tax NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation:

A total of 83% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 17% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, this question received 789 responses from 437 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A strong majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 83%, did not support raising the tax on cigarettes to help fund health care services.

  • “It wouldn’t work. More people would quit and it would be less feasible for out-of-staters to come here and buy them, resulting in lost revenue.”
  • “This crime of robbing smokers has to stop.”
  • “Increasing the tax rate does not always increase revenue because we are a geographically small state. When the room and meals tax, gas tax, beer tax, or other excise tax rates go up, fewer people shop here, and we end up losing all of the jobs and all of the revenue that goes with it.”

Yes: A minority, at 17% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, supported raising the tax on cigarettes to help fund health care services.

  • “I look at this as a way to influence people to quit smoking. I’m a smoker. I can't stand them. Raise it.”
  • “Yes. Anyone who is stupid enough to smoke should carry the majority of the burden placed on our national healthcare system.”
  • “Why not? Massachusetts did it to help fund the big dig.”

Other: As noted above, 17% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Marijuana legalization: “After Massachusetts votes on Marijuana, NH will eventually nuzzle up to the idea, and that extra tax money will come in by the millions.”
  • Possible alternatives: “How about raising the tax on alcohol since that is a bigger killer than cigarettes?”
  • Healthcare costs: “If you want healthcare costs to drop, abolish that financial mistake, Obamacare.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Should NH raise the tax on cigarettes to help fund health care services? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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