Cigarette sales in Oklahoma on the decline

Wednesday, August 17th 2005, 6:08 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma Tax Commission officials say cigarette sales are down by 15 percent, or about 4.4-million packs per month.

Data shows that retailers sold more than 28-million packs of cigarettes in July 2004 and only 24-million packs this July.

Tobacco Use Prevention Services Chief Doug Matheny says the decline in sales means there are about 30,000 less smokers this year.

Cigarettes went up about 25 cents a pack in January after Oklahomans passed State Question 713 in November.

Matheny says Oklahoma has also seen an increase in callers to its tobacco cessation help line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

The line has served more than 12,000 callers since the tax increase was approved. This time last year about 2,400 people had used the line.