The average price of a pack of cigarettes in the United States is now $7.22—up from $4.03 in 2008, reports the U.S. Sun, citing data from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
To reduce smoking, 48 states and the District of Columbia have passed 148 cigarette tax increases since 2002.
As a result, the average state cigarette tax has quadrupled from $0.43 to $1.91 per 20-pack today. In Colorado, the tax increased from $1.10 to $1.94 per pack in January this year.
The state taxes come on top of a federal tax of $1.01, which applies to all packs regardless of where smokers live or the brand they buy.
In Colorado, the new state tax generated more than $34 million in its first five months, according to a recent data analysis by The Colorado Sun.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, tax increases are one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking and other tobacco use.
Every 10 percent increase in cigarette prices reportedly reduces youth smoking by 7 percent and total consumption of cigarettes by around 4 percent.
However, some health advocates believe there are more efficient ways to cut consumption. Tobacco control activist Stanton A. Glantz, for example, has previously claimed that better results can be achieved by smoke-free workplaces, strong graphic warning labels and media campaigns.