Cigarette Prices Rise

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

A federal tax on cigarettes will be imposed in April, raising them 61 cents a pack. However, local convenience stores have already taken a hit. The warnings were posted at the gas pumps telling smokers to buy before the price of cigarettes go up. But now, the high cost of smokes is a dose of reality for smokers in the area.

David George, a smoker whose wife is encouraging him to quit said, "It does have a lot to do with me quitting because it's ridiculous taxing cigarettes that high. I mean, who can afford that?"

Although the federal tax does not go into effect until April, prices of cigarette brands such as Marlboro are already on the rise to cover the cost of the tax. Some smokers and their families have had enough of the prices and the bad habit--and they say this could be a blessing after all.

While getting gas, Sharonda Ivey saw the signs warning of the tax increase. "That's going to stop a lot of people from smoking. It's going to stop me, if anything, I'm not going to smoke." said Ivey.

Bill Spencer says his son-in-law smokes and he hopes this is a motivator for him to quit as well. "Some people need that extra push to help kick the habit and when it starts hurting in the pocket, maybe that's what it will take, hopefully." said Spencer.

Altria, the company that owns Marlboro and other cigarette brands, showed a five percent increase in its shares last week since announcing the price increase. While cigarette prices go up, Altria says it is reducing the prices of its smokeless brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal. However, it says cigarettes make up for about 80 percent of its profits.

Around the country, cigarette prices vary from store to store, but you can expect to pay in the area of five dollars per pack, which is an increase of between 70-80 cents per pack. And if you want to buy a carton of cigarettes, they have been spotted at around 30 dollars a carton.


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  • by james Location: florida on Jul 8, 2009 at 01:01 PM
    there not raising prices to keep us from smoking but to try to stop teens from smoking. and like vido games thay blame the people making the product insted of the parents .its the parents job to keep there kids from smoking not the tabaco compnay
  • by Angie Location: Georgia on Mar 22, 2009 at 01:24 PM
    I am disgusted because while this new tax on cigarettes will make more people quit...it could also possibly cause many more jobs if the tobacco companies have to cut back on employees due to lack of sales...GREAT, One more kick in the pants for our economy...yep, smoking is bad but I wonder if the ones who come up with these laws have elevators that actually go to the top floor!!!?????
  • by David Location: Philly on Mar 17, 2009 at 02:43 PM
    NO! This is NOT good! I don't want to be FORCED to do ANYTHING! Reading these posts that say things like, "Oh, this is good because now I have no choice..." about drives me nuts. Tagging ANY group as a cash-cow through government is BAD, BAD, INCREDIBLY BAD!!! What will be the next unfashionable thing to target when everyone that smokes is forced to quit? I've read comments from ill-informed non-smokers that say things like, "Well if it's THAT bad for me, I wouldn't mind being forced from it..." People, there are NO RULES with this! It could be anything that you like doing! Imagine if they simply imposed incredible taxes for having a pool or a tree house. Don't laugh... Ask yourself (after this tobacco fiasco)why couldn't, or wouldn't they? They are targeting an "unpopular group". When they are gone, the next in line moves Up.
  • by Mr. Mike Location: Bossier on Mar 14, 2009 at 12:16 AM
    I've smoked for 30 years & seriously addicted! This may be the incentive I need to "TRY" to quit.Have wanted to the last 15 yrs. or so but is so hard to overcome the addiction!!! Alot of ppl will quit & thats awesome, but on the other hand a lot of people cannot and will hurt financially and others may lose their jobs due to cutbacks in the tobacco industry if sales really drop. My understanding is the "Xtra Taxes" will go mostly for kids health programs? That's also awesome if so, but I see it like the Lottery,,"They" say that the largest % of that goes to the schools. I HAVEN'T SEEN THAT YET! Seems like a gov't tactic to tax something that the majority will agree with(non-smokers)in order to recoup losses from some other wasted spending move!(CONTRACTS!IE: $500 TOILET SEATS) They know the majority of smokers won't quit and the revenues from the tax will More Than Offset a sales drop.I BELIEVE THE GOV'T is just doing the norm>> POLITICAL B.S. (AMERICAS "BEND-OVER" RULE)TAX TAX TAX
  • by Dawn Location: Florida on Mar 12, 2009 at 03:10 PM
    All of this is just a way to ban smoking but without trying to pass a law (which would be unconstitutional) they raise and raise the prices so that you cannot afford them. I really think it is going to far, smokers have no where in public they can smoke, and now they keep increasing the prices to try to get us to stop, well I won't it is one of my only vices and I enjoy smoking, no one should tell me what I can or cannot do to my body, I know the risks and it is MY CHOICE! No one elses. I budget money every week for my habit, and I will continue to do so. But I must ask, do they realize that when the tabacco companies go under how many jobs will be lost?! Has anyone even thought about that? Like our economy isn't in the crapper already lets create taxes so high on cigarettes that the cigarette companies can't survive so then we'll have thousands of jobs lost, what idiots, if it looks good on paper is mut be great, don't consider the "real life" impact it will have!! this is crap
  • by A Smoker Location: GA on Mar 12, 2009 at 10:16 AM
    I am a smoker who is trying to cut down... but I have seen people who quit smoking cold turkey. Nicotine is a real addiction that causes physical symptoms when you are forced to withdraw... My first thought was as the economy is the pits as they are raising the prices so drastically... will there be more people going off the rail like in Alabama yesterday?
  • by Claude Location: San Jose, CA on Mar 11, 2009 at 02:42 AM
    Federal Tax, what about the new State tax? $30.00/carton - Not here in San Jose area where a carton is around $45.00 0 Even higher at Safeway in Los Gatos - Over 90% will not quit because of price - They are "hooked"- Smoking is a disease!
  • by J.D Location: Bossier City on Mar 10, 2009 at 01:17 PM
    I don't smoke often enough to really feel the impact that the price increase will have. But what I'm worried about is: what is going to happen to those who are depended on cigarettes and already neglect other things due to buying them? Thier is no one who can honestly say they don't neglect buying simple but meaningfull items for loved ones. What I mean is you take the price of cigarettes and add it up, What could you have bought with that money when someone you know went without. This is a everyday thing for those who smoke and barely scrape by. 30% of Americans are below middleclass. 25% of them smoke. Are we doing more harm because there are more that don't smoke. Think about it, if 75% of us smoked we wouldn't have this problem. So is that right to take more away from the ones already having to do with out. I am not a saint myself but I'm not selfesh either.
  • by pam Location: fwb on Mar 10, 2009 at 07:08 AM
    Ok sure as our economy is drowning you want to raise the price of cigs.Why cause you think it will help us quit!To make all the "non-smokers"happy! Why dont you take away the alcohol that kills pepole everyday in drunk drving. Everyone who wanted this price increase need to focus on the real killers.This price increse is not going to help its going to make things worse. This just makes me sick. If you dont like my smoke stay out of my space! Great just another increase in my weekly budget. But guess what Im not giving up smoking just to make all you uptight snobs happy!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2009 at 12:59 AM
    I can remember saying, that if cigs. went to 1 dollar a pack, i was quitting. Well, i haven't quit yet and WON'T until i am dead. Yep, i know how bad they, but as i have said before, my granddaddy died last year from smoking. He was 98.
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