No cigarette tax hike in La. in decade

Louisiana is one of 13 states that have not raised taxes on cigarettes in 10 years, even though the evidence clearly shows that regular and significant increases encourages users to quit or cut back and prevents kids from even starting to smoke.

The finding is included in a new report by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The report shows that many state legislatures are failing to pass laws and policies that could save lives, reduce long-term health costs and generate new revenue.

Louisiana’s cigarette tax is 36 cents per pack. The national average is $1.54. Only Missouri, 17 cents, and Virginia, 30 cents, are lower.

Tobacco use will cause 176,000 of the estimated 585,720 cancer deaths in the United States this year, the report says. Tobacco is still the No. 1 preventable cause of death nationwide.

On the plus side, Louisiana is one of nine states that prohibits minors from using indoor tanning devices, which the World Health Organization classifies as “class 1 carcinogens,” the same as cigarettes.