As Congress weighs the biggest federal cigarette tax hike in history, a USA TODAY analysis finds that higher state taxes on smokers have produced sharp declines in consumption.
The amount of decline in smoking is directly tied to the size of the tax increase, the analysis shows.
Cigarette sales fell 18% in North Carolina last year after the tax was raised in two steps to 35 cents from a nickel. The tobacco-growing state resisted higher cigarette taxes until 2005. Elsewhere: