Massachusetts taxpayers have shelled out an extra $542 million since state lawmakers voted three years ago to hike the tax on cigarettes and gasoline, with none of the cigarette revenue going directly to anti-smoking programs.

That’s rankled some activists, who have turned their attention to pushing for a ban on the sale of tobacco products to those under 21.

From September 2013 through the end of May, smokers have plunked down an extra $285 million from the new $1-per-pack hike tax, according to information provided to the Associated Press by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

Drivers have paid an extra $257 million to fill up their tanks as a result of the 3-cent-per-gallon increase.

While virtually all of the gas tax money has gone to highway construction and maintenance, none of the extra cigarette taxes have gone specifically to fighting tobacco use.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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