Hiking tobacco taxes will help tame America’s most enduring epidemicACTA
As the nation staggers through the pandemic, most remain oblivious to the epidemics that plagued Americans’ health before Covid-19 struck — and will continue to do so long after it subsides. The opioid crisis, obesity and the continuing toll from tobacco use are all critical public health threats.
Of these, reducing the persistent use of tobacco in America holds tremendous promise for broadly improving public health, protecting young people from harm and reducing health care costs for employers and government insurance programs. That’s why the US House Ways and Means Committee’s intention to double federal tobacco taxes to help pay for part of President Joe Biden’s vast expansion of social programs — a package that is set to include an ambitious extension of health care coverage — is precisely right.