BACKGROUND This study analyzed influences on state legislators' decisions about cigarette tax increase votes using a research strategy based on political science and social-psychological models. METHODS Legislators from three states representing a spectrum of tobacco interests participated in personal interviews concerned with tobacco control legislation (n = 444). Measures of potential predictors of voting intention were based on the consensus model of legislative decision-making and the theory of planned behavior. Multiple logistic regression methods were used to identify social-psychological and other predictors of intention to vote for cigarette tax increases. RESULTS General attitudes and norms concerning cigarette tax increases predicted legislators' intention to vote for cigarette tax increases. More specific predictors included perceptions of public health impact and retail sales impact of cigarette tax increases. Constituent pressure was the strongest perceived social influence. Political party and state also were strong predictors of intention. Results were consistent with related research based on political science models. CONCLUSIONS Legislators' votes on cigarette tax increases may be influenced by their perceptions of positive and negative outcomes of a cigarette tax increase and by perceived constituent pressures. This research model provides useful insights for theory and practice and should be refined in future tobacco control research.