(NEW YORK) — A federal tobacco tax hike signed by President Obama just days after he took office in 2009 has resulted in a historic drop in cigarette smokers, according to new analysis by USA Today.
The newspaper, citing surveys by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports that about three million less people smoked last year than in 2009. The decrease was largely due to the overnight 22 percent price increase in cigarettes in April of that year.
On April 1, 2009, the cigarette tax leaped from 39 cents to $1.01 per pack. The hike was made to help fund expanded health care for children.
Tax records show the change has raised more than $30 billion in new revenue, USA Today reports.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Julie Wootton, Times-News
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News