Cigarette tax increase on July 1

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On July 1, smokers will pay more to light up. The price per pack of cigarettes will cost an extra .50 cents.  “People that want to smoke they got to end up paying the money. It’s wrong but that’s the way it is,” adds a local smoker.

Gerri Simon co-owns Swamp Vapor an e-cigarette shop. She says the nicotine liquid used for Vapor products and Electronic Cigarettes will have an increase of five-cents per millimeter. “We should not be included in this tax at all,” says Simon. “We did everything we could to influence our politicians but we fell short.”

Simon says she’s a member of the Louisiana Association of Electronic Cigarette Retailers. Simon is waiting to hear how the state plans to collect on her inventory. “They haven’t told us if that’s for pure nicotine or for diluted nicotine or what.”

Phyllis Castillo smokes both e-cigs and tobacco. Castillo supports the tax increase. She says the increase on tobacco makes the price for e-cigs more attractive. “You get a tube of this for like $18.00.  It’s like six cartons of cigarettes okay,” adds Castillo.

“Louisiana fell short of a tobacco tax that could have positively impacted our state’s youth,” says Stasha Rhodes, The American Heart Association’s Louisiana Advocacy Director. “Tobacco tax higher than $1.00 is a proven method of deterring youth from taking up the smoking habit.”

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