Tax hike for tobacco products

April 1, 2009 7:48:02 AM PDT
It's going to cost you a lot more to light up. A federal tobacco tax hike takes effect today. That means the tax on a pack of cigarettes and other tobacco products will climb from 39 cents to a little over a dollar.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

If you are a smoker, this is news that could help you kick the habit. Many people are looking at this largest federal tobacco hike in history as motivation to quit. They say they simply cannot afford to keep smoking.

Hotlines for people who want to stop smoking have been flooded with calls all over the country as smokers face this tough reality. Their habit just became a whole lot more expensive.

Revenue from the new tax will help pay for a health insurance program for low-income children. President Barack Obama signed it into law about two months ago. Some smokers say it is a good cause and the cost will force them to quit for good.

"I kind of figured it is going to get more and more expensive," said smoker Stephen Pavalock.

"Do you think it will change your habit at all?" we asked.

"It already has," he responded.

The tax for cigarettes goes from 39 cents to over a $1. Chewing tobacco goes from 4.4 cents to 11.3 cents and it is on top of the Texas tax, which already adds $1.41 to the cost of a pack of cigarettes. A pack of cigarettes in Texas is $7.

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