Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Increased Federal Tax on Cigarettes

Today the federal tax on one pack of cigarettes rises from $0.39 to $1.01 because of legislation signed by President Obama to help fund the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).
The most expensive city to buy cigarettes has been New York City since June of 2008. 1 pack of cigarettes about $4.00 + [Federal tax $1.01 + NY state tax $2.75 + New York city tax $1.50 (= total $5.26 per pack)] = more than $9.00 per pack. So at even $9/day x 365 days/year = $3,285/year. An expensive habit, but the cost of caring for the health problems and medical diseases is far greater.
The national average price of one pack of cigarettes is $4.32, prior to federal ($1.01) and state taxes (in South Carolina, a VERY LAME $0.07 per pack). The South Carolina legislature is currently debating increasing the state's tax. Let's hope they see the light and raise Sotuh Carolina's cigarette tax by $1.00. This is still $0.12 below the national average. Please contact your representatives and urge them to support the bills. I have and it is time to take action!

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