Smokers getting heated up in Illinois
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 03:35:15 GMT —
Sunday, taxes on cigarettes in Illinois rose a full $1 per pack, from $0.98 to $1.98.
The jump in tax has smokers worried about where they will find money for the additional tax.
"When I first started, they were $2 even, $20 a carton. Now, they're going to shoot up to almost seven? Ouch!" Johnthon Wright said.
The increasingly expensive habit has those with minimum wage jobs contemplating other options.
"I'm a smoker myself and have a minimum wage job and on top of other bills ... it's a real penny pincher," Wright said.
"I'm going to cut back and attempt to quit, but like I said it's just kind of hard to quit all of the sudden, so I'm going to have to deal with the cigarette price for a little while," Damien Miller, a smoker and cashier at Phillips 66 said.
With Illinois bordering Missouri, the state with the lowest cigarette tax, the tax hike brings concerns about business loss as well.
"A lot of people are going to go across the river, we're going to take a hit in cigarettes," Miller said.
Several gas stations we spoke with Sunday said they would wait until Monday to raise taxes and would therefore pay for the day's worth of increased taxes themself.
The tax money raised will be matched by federal funds.
This will allow Illinois to put an additional $700 million towards Medicaid.