NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The fact that a pack of cigarettes will soon cost more than $10 in New York could push some people quit smoking, a health official says.
Michael Seilback, a member of the American Lung Association of the state of New York, said if the new 62-cent federal tax added to a single pack of cigarettes encourages smokers to quit, it could potentially lower smoking-related healthcare costs and deaths, the New York Post reported Sunday.
The federal tax will be applied to all cigarette sales in New York following the recent passage of the State Children's Health Insurance Program law.
With the added federal tax, two-thirds of the cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York will be made up of city, federal and states taxes as of April 1.
The Post said the state of New York suffers an average of 35,000 smoking-related deaths a year. In addition, a decline in smoking statewide could help reduce the nearly $1.7 billion in future health costs the state is facing, the newspaper added.