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House bill could pin higher taxes on smokers

3 years 7 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, April 02 2015 Apr 2, 2015 April 02, 2015 5:03 PM April 02, 2015 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Jessica LeBlanc

BATON ROUGE - Smokers across the state could be taking a bigger hit to their wallet when they restock on their precious smokes in the future.

To the chagrin of these nicotine enjoying taxpayers, the proposed House Bill No. 252, aims to increase cigarette taxes from $0.36 to $1.08 per pack.

Some smokers told News 2 they're not happy about the possibility of having to pay more money to support their habit.

"It's just another way to get money out of you," said Corwin de Philips, a smoker.

While the tax may meet the disdain of smokes, Louisiana currently pays one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the country. On the other end of the spectrum, New York smokers are paying the highest at $4.35 a pack.

Even though Louisiana smokers may have to pay more money to take a few puffs soon, some say it doesn't matter. These resilient smokers say they're going to continue smoking anyway, regardless of a tax increase.

"No it's not healthy for me. I don't want the tax to raise, but because I like to smoke. Whatever it's going to be, I'm going to pay it because I enjoy smoking," said Gina Sharp, a smoker for 20 years.

If you're breathing an (easier) sigh of relief because you recently switched to electronic cigarettes, also known as vapor cigarettes, you aren't in the clear either. A tax increase on vapor cigarettes is also up for passage.

The legislative session begins April 13.


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