Advocates Say Poll Shows Most Nebraskans Support Increasing Tobacco Tax


The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network released numbers from their latest poll on Thursday saying many Nebraskans are supportive of an increase on the state's tobacco tax.

The anti-smoking advocacy group is calling on Nebraska lawmakers to increase the tax as part of their reforms on the state's tax system.

The poll, conducted by market research company Public Opinion Strategies, said 68 percent of likely voters in Nebraska support an increase, while 29 percent oppose it. The poll was conducted Oct. 6-8 on 500 Nebraskans.

David Holmquist of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network says a tobacco tax increase would help reduce health care costs and discourage youths from smoking. Holmquist says lawmakers could use the revenue for property tax relief, or for smoking cessation programs.

The group will present its poll to the Legislature's Tax Modernization Committee, which is meeting at the Capitol.

Nebraska's cigarette tax is 64 cents a pack, the 38th highest nationwide. The national average is $1.53 per pack.

Poll information:

Public Opinion Strategies conducted a statewide survey of 500 likely voters in Nebraska. The survey was conducted October 6-8, 2013. Three-hundred seventy-five likely voters were interviewed by landline and 125 likely voters were interviewed by cell phone. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percent in 95 out of 100 cases.