Pegasus backed plan calls for increased cigarette tax

10/24/2017 08:15 AM

Lawmakers will soon return to Frankfort to deal with billions in under funding to the state’s pension systems, but then they’ll have to return again months later to write a 2-year state spending plan — and the call for more revenue will be loud, that call could kick start a debate on curbing unhealthy habits, like smoking.

Legislators in the Kentucky General Assembly have already warned of cuts to come, but two groups are working towards proposing an increase in the cost per-pack of cigarettes in an effort to incentives quitting smoking, but increasing the tax would also generate dollars for the state in the short term.

The Pegasus plan would call for the cigarette tax to increase to $1.10 per pack, and switch to other tobacco or nicotine products or drop the habit altogether. The research and proposal was authored for Pegasus by University of Louisville Medical School Professor Dr. Brad Rodu and Louisville Research Economist Nantaporn Plurphanswat.

Rodu joined Pure Politics for an interview and broke down the plan and research behind it.

Download the full Pegasus plan “here.”:Pegasus Institute Tobacco Tax for Kentucky (2).pdf

The Coalition for a smoke free Kentucky is also calling for an increase in the price per-pack to $1.60 in Kentucky, they’re hoping the taxing will convince Kentuckians to quit.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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