Ah, the life of a smoker. What was once considered to be a chic and sexy accessory during the 40's and 50's has now become the source of ridicule and rejection.Smoking while still wildly acceptable in Europe and other lands is a subject of scorn and isolation and now higher taxes here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The Louisiana Senate has officially approved their recommendations for raising cigarette taxes but will the Louisiana House follow suit?

The bill authored by J.P. Morrell in the Senate would raise the state tax on cigarettes by .72 cents. That would bring Louisiana's cigarette taxes in line with Southern regional average of $1.08 per pack.  The House approved a similar measure earlier in the session but their increase was only .32 cents per pack.

In order for either of the two bills to become law there will have to be some kind of compromise. As much as the legislators would like you to believe they are concerned about the health and welfare of smokers in the state. Studies show that higher taxes do not make smokers want to kick the habit.

This bill is all about money. Money is something that our state does not have.  An increase in the state's cigarette tax could go to close the gap between money we need and money we don't have.

Lawmakers will have to get busy tomorrow hammering out the details on this bill. The 2015 session of the Louisiana Legislature is set to close on Thursday. There has been talk of a special session to override any vetoes that might come down from the Governor's office.