Cigarette tax hiked by budget


SIDNEY– Smokers will see another increase on how much they’re shelling out for a pack of cigarettes.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a $71.2 billion, two-year state budget on Tuesday that will, among other things, raise the tax on cigarettes 35-cents to $1.60.

The increase is expected to bring in more than $375 million in new tax receipts over the next two years. Rates for other tobacco products and e-cigarettes will remain the same.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average cost to consumers for a pack of 20 non-generic cigarettes is $6.28, including federal, state, and local excise taxes, as of November 2014.

CR Butts Discount Tobacco in Sidney was busy Thursday afternoon, but the manager said, people are not happy with the tax increase.

“People will switch brands and go down, but there isn’t really much to go down to anymore because everything went up,” she said.

She said she thinks it’ll effect business a little bit, and might get a few people to cut back or quit. She points to a bigger problem of the price of everything being raised, like food and gas.

Jesse Smithe, of Dayton, said he has been thinking of cutting back for a few months now, and this might just be the push he needs.

“I smoke about a pack every three days, I might switch to one a week, I think I could make a pack last that long,” Smithe said.

He said he knows it’s bad for him, but it’s addicting and it’s hard to stop.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 of every 5 deaths, according to the CDC.

In 2013, the percentage of adults in Ohio who smoke ranged from 22 to 24.9 percent, according to the CDC.

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