Government at the federal, state and local levels can increase tobacco taxes at any time. Higher tobacco taxes can mean lost sales and jobs for retailers while unjustly burdening adult tobacco consumers. Cigarettes are already one of the most heavily taxed consumer products in the United States. The government collects more money from the sale of cigarettes than retailers, wholesalers, tobacco growers and manufacturers do combined.

Cigarettes and other tobacco product sales account for more than 36 percent of all in-store sales at convenience stores nationwide, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores. You can make a difference by getting involved and speaking out against higher tobacco taxes and building and maintaining a relationship with elected officials, and by making your opinions known.

From job loss to lower revenue and increased security risks, tobacco tax increases hurt businesses. Studies show that revenues from increased state cigarette taxes often fall short of projections, partially because smokers will sometimes go out of their way to purchase less-expensive cigarettes via untaxed channels. Revenue and sales for in-state retailers are lost when adult tobacco consumers travel across borders into states with cheaper cigarette taxes. And local store owners lose not only tobacco sales, but also the sales of food, gas, beverages and other products.

Tobacco tax increases mean that cigarettes and other tobacco products will become even more valuable, making theft and burglary more common at every stage of distribution. From convenience store robberies to warehouse break-ins to truck hijackings, as prices for cigarettes increase, the likelihood of cigarette-related crimes can be expected to increase as well.