Arizona Ranks 9th in State Cigarette Taxes

June 30, 2009

Hello all,

I received this information from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and thought you might be interested in the new map and rankings of state taxes on tobacco as of July 1, 2009. Arizona ranks 9th nationally for our tax on cigarettes. So far this year, 10 states (AR, FL, HI, KY, MS, NH, NJ, RI, VT, WI) have passed cigarette tax increases, five of which go into effect tomorrow (July 1). The average state tax on tobacco is $1.29 per pack. NOTE: the figures do not include the recent federal excise tax.

Map of State Cigarette Tax Rates

State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings

Even though we are a leader in taxing tobacco, and we have one of the nation’s best indoor air laws, there is more work to be done here in Arizona! On the map, note that the states surrounding AZ have lower taxation and to the south we have Mexico where cigarettes are available cheaper as well. This leads to trafficking that cuts into our tax revenues and provides an easy ‘out’ for Arizona’s tobacco users in search of getting the ‘most for their money.’

I look forward to working with you as we continue toward our vision of a tobacco-free Arizona!


Venomocity Joins Vans Warped Tour

June 25, 2009

Venomocity.comTeens and young adults ages 12-17 grossly underestimate the power of addiction that develops from using tobacco products. The Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease (BTCD), at the Arizona Department of Health Services, focused on reaching this impressionable age group with its youth prevention campaign titled, Venomocity: Brought to you by Addiction. Television commercials and social media outlets drive kids to an addiction Web site: The Web site has a number of features including games, facts, TV spots, radio ads and other areas of interest.

Venomocity events have been held all over the state to engage youth one-on-one at a grassroots level. On June 30, Venomocity will be at the Vans Warped Tour when it rolls into Phoenix, a traveling festival, which showcases various genres of music including hip-hop and punk rock. With an expected attendance of approximately 15,000, it’s one of the largest gatherings of teens and young adults to be held in Arizona this summer. More than 60 bands will take part in the all day event set to take place at Cricket Pavilion in west Phoenix.

Check out the photos from other Venomocity events held throughout Arizona. Click on the links in the Event Reports section of the Venomocity page at

Governor Brewer Shows Great Support of Our Tobacco Control Efforts

June 23, 2009

For those who could not attend the National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH), I want to bring you into the loop on Governor Brewer’s great show of support as she spoke in the opening plenary to over 2,000 attendees from across the nation.

As you can see in my letter to the Governor, we can stand proud of her participation on our behalf at NCTOH, and acknowledging Arizona as leading the nation in having the highest drop in tobacco use in 2008. In the letter, I bring special attention to the return-on-investment of having 170,000 Arizonans quit tobacco use, as the state will realize an estimated savings of $21 million per year in productivity and healthcare costs for the remainder of their lives.

letter to Governor Brewer

I hope you will read the blog, and as always, I welcome your comments.

Best regards,



June 17, 2009

Hello all,

Wow! What a week. The National Conference on Tobacco or Health in Phoenix was a huge success. How exciting for us to have Governor Brewer kick-off the Conference at the opening plenary. And for her to recognize us for our work to decrease smoking in Arizona! It was definitely a huge opportunity for us to shine on the national stage.

Thank you to each and every one of you who helped with the Conference. From those who helped early on planning the content of the Arizona sessions, to stuffing Conference bags, to monitoring sessions throughout the Conference…because of your help and our collaborative statewide effort the Conference was a great success!

Special mention to Dr. Fairbanks and the dedicated folks from Arizonans Concerned About Smoking. The most dazzling part of the Conference was the ACAS Award Reception on Opening Night. A great many thanks to ACAS which honored leaders in the Tobacco Control Movement during the reception and also hosted the entire Opening Reception as a sponsor of NCTOH.

Don’t forget to submit your own photos from NCTOH for posting to the blog!



Historic Drop in Arizona Smoking Rates

June 5, 2009

Hello Everyone!

I’m looking forward to seeing you in Phoenix next week for NCTOH. I will hope to see you at my session where I will present our successful statewide youth campaign – Venomocity! My session is Thursday, June 11 at 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM in North 231 A.

Last week the announcement of our unprecedented 20% decrease in smoking prevalence gleaned a great deal of earned media. We had an estimated 2.5 million impressions in just 2 days! That’s an advertising equivalent earned media value of approximately $93,000. Here’s a sample of the coverage we received with more posts to the follow.