RJR Mobilizing Retailers Against Federal Tobacco Tax Hike

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- One day after President Barack Obama proposed raising the federal excise tax on cigarettes by 94 cents per pack, it is clear the industry will not take any increase lying down.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco is urging those affected by the possible hike to contact their elected officials in Washington, D.C., and voice their opinion. Those objecting to the tax do not have to go it alone; R.J. Reynolds is providing tools to help retailers.

On its website,, the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based tobacco company has detailed the proposal and ways in which retailers, and others, can contact members of Congress.

In addition, R.J. Reynolds has set up a toll-free phone number, (866) 629-5268, so retailers can reach an operator who will put them through to their U.S. Congress member, according to the company.

As CSNews Online reported yesterday, Obama proposed a 2014 federal budget that includes plans to raise the federal excise tax on cigarettes from $1.01 to $1.95 per pack. The proposal also increases taxes on other tobacco products, such as cigars, pipe tobacco and smokeless tobacco, by about the same proportion and indexes the taxes for inflation after 2014. The hike, which is estimated to bring in $78 billion over 10 years, will be used to finance pre-kindergarten programs for 4-year-olds.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco is an indirect subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. Its brands include Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes as well as Camel Snus.