Lawmakers Propose Cigarette Tax Increase

By: NBC 15
By: NBC 15

Smokers, you may have to shell out a little more green for your next pack of cigarettes.

Legislation was introduced Wednesday calling for an increase of a dollar a pack.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers says the increase will bring in millions of dollars for the state to help fund healthcare expenses related to smoking.

They say it will also help kids kick the habit.

"I want to see kids stop smoking. For every ten percent increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes, there's a seven percent decrease in the number of kids who start smoking," says Rep. J.A. "Doc" Hines.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau expects the tax hike to bring in more than $641 million dollars in the next two years, if it's introduced in the Governor's budget in July.

Rep. Hines tells us the Governor appears to be behind the bill.

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