This study investigated support among AARP members in Wyoming for a cigarette tax increase to help finance specific state programs and services. The tax increase, from $0.12 to $0.60 per pack, would benefit health care programs for children, a prescription drug assistance program for low-income residents, Medicaid reimbursement, and treatment and prevention programs for tobacco abuse. Some of the tax revenue would also help maintain Wyoming's cities and counties. An additional $25 million would be generated by this tax increase, to be used only for the programs and services just listed.
Some of the key findings, which are based on interviews with 948 Wyoming members, are as follows:
- More than half (57%) of the respondents indicated they strongly support increasing the cigarette tax rate to help pay for state health programs and services.
- More than half (54%) of the respondents indicated they were very concerned and one-quarter (25%) were somewhat concerned about their ability to afford their prescription drugs over the next 2 years.
- Most of the Wyoming members did not agree that a cigarette tax increase to $0.60 per pack tax would hurt the state's economy (44% strongly disagreed and 23% somewhat disagreed).
Interviews were conducted during December 2002 by Southeastern Institute of Research, Inc. The report was prepared by Katherine Bridges of AARP Knowledge Management. For further information, please contact Jennifer H. Sauer at (202) 434-6207. (21 pages)