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Up in smoke: Cigarette taxes increase April 1

Managing editor

(Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series about tobacco use in Marion County.)

If there ever was a reason for a smoker to stop lighting up, this might be it.

After April 1, a pack of name brand cigarettes will cost consumers in Marion County nearly $6 with cartons costing more than $50. And even before the federal excise tax goes into effect, many tobacco manufacturers have anticipated the increase by raising prices.

The federal tax is figured by the weight of the tobacco, which is 62 cents per pack of cigarettes and 10 cents per can of chewing tobacco.

The product that has taken the largest hit has been bulk tobacco for those who prefer to “roll their own.” The federal tobacco tax alone will be nearly $24.

Studies have shown that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by seven percent and overall cigarette consumption by three to five percent.

State legislators had considered a statewide indoor smoking ban but time is running out for committees to meet for this session with no action being taken. Senators passed the bill earlier in the session.

Last modified March 26, 2009

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