Louisiana’s Cigarette Tax Increase Takes Effect Today
I would imagine many retailers of cigarettes yesterday were running short of some of the more popular brands as smokers lined up to save some money. The amount of money may not seem like a lot, .50 cents on a pack of smokes, but it does add up. For a pack a day smoker you're now paying an additional $182 per year.
As you might imagine there are some very different points of view where this issue is concerned. Tobacco retailers will most likely notice a decrease in revenue over the next couple of weeks and maybe even months.
When we change the tax structure and the pricing structure of any product it decreases revenue for a while because everyone says 'oh I'm going to quit' or 'cut back' or whatever reason.
Those are the words of Bill Bailey as reported by the Louisiana Radio Network. Mr. Bailey is the proprietor of Smoker's Paradise in Pineville Louisiana.
In case you were wondering about vaping, or using e-cigarettes, the taxes on those products have changed as well.
The way I understand it, it's a 5 cent per milliliter tax, which is fairly small tax but the game plan there is it opens the door for future taxes down the road.
While tobacco and e-cigarette retailers see this tax increase as a not so good thing, the American Heart Association is hopeful that today's tax increase will have positive health benefits for the citizens of the state. Stasha Rhodes Director of the American Heart Association Louisiana Advocacy explains.
Every year tobacco costs us 1.9 billion dollars in health care costs. That is health care costs directly related to tobacco illness.
The legislature passed the increase on cigarettes during the previous session. Both the Senate and House had higher taxes planned but the compromise deal lowered both lawmaking bodies planned increase to .50 cents per pack.