Governor Maggie Hassan is looking to raise New Hampshire’s cigarette tax. In her state budget address, she pitched a 30-cent increase as good public health policy.
“New Hampshire has the highest youth smoking rate in the Northeast, with 19.8 percent of high school students who smoke cigarettes," Hassan said. "Cigarette taxes nationwide have proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent youth smoking.”
She also said it will raise $40 million in revenue without compromising cross-border sales.
This image provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows one of nine new warning labels it wants cigarette makers to use. Tobacco companies have sued, claiming the mandate is unconstitutional.
The question of how far the government can go in forcing a business — in this case cigarette makers — to warn consumers about its product is before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
The Food and Drug Administration wants large, graphic warning labels to scare smokers, but tobacco companies say that violates their right to free speech.