Cigarette tax goes up 50 cents this week
BATON ROUGE- You can expect to pay more if you buy a pack of cigarettes in Louisiana starting Wednesday.
On July 1st, a pack of cigarettes will cost you an additional 50 cents after state legislators voted to raise the cigarette tax. Currently, the state's cigarette tax is 36 cent, which is one of the lowest in the country. In total, Louisiana will have an 86 cent cigarette tax.
Many smokers said they're not happy about another tax.
"I can't afford rent, I especially can't afford cigarettes going up anymore," said Ryan Cauthron.
The tax also includes an increase by 5 cents per milliliter on E-cigarettes and vapor products.
"It might hurt business a little, but it might be good for us in the long run guess we'll see what happens," said Go Vapor Manager, Nick Arnold.
The money is expected to generate more than $106 million for the state. It will be used to fill a health care hole in the state's budget.
Although many smokers said the tax increase should not be that high, the additonal tax will not stop them from smoking.
"In regards to our customers, regulars that do come in it's probably going to increase by a dollar and that's going to effect them but people are still going to smoke," said Churchill's Manager Rachel Boos.
Churchill's sells packs of cigarettes and vapor products. Other buisness said in the long run the extra tax money may be a good thing for the state.
"If the money goes to something useful that'll help people than I think it'll be alright," said Arnold.
The additional tax puts Louisiana in line with most other states. According to Tobacco Free Kids, the median state tax is $1.41 per pack for the fiscal year beginning Wednesday.
The federal government adds a $1.01 tax for each pack of cigarettes.