Dollar tax proposed on cigarettes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dollar tax proposed on cigarettes

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Georgia smokers beware, a new tax on tobacco could be on its way.

Republican Representative Ron Stephens of Savannah introduced a bill to raise the tobacco tax one dollar.

It would go from 37 cents to $1.37 on a pack of cigarettes.  Legislative leaders haven't signed on, but it is gaining support of anti-smoking groups and some legislators looking for ways to bring more revenue in to the cash strapped state.

Some south Georgia smokers oppose the hike, but admit it could cause some people to stop smoking.

"It could because the way times are now, they're tough out here. And you're just taxing on stuff that people have a habit of, like cigarettes and things like that. It very well could cause you to quit," said Kevin Adams.

Mark Bush, who also opposes the tax said, "It's pretty expensive. They're already up to $3.50 or $4.00 a pack, depending on what kind you smoke. But an extra dollar is probably going to cause people to stop smoking just because it's a dollar more. But it not going to stop me from smoking."

Representative Stephens says the tax would also bring a billion dollars in federal health care money to Georgia.

The bill has generated a lot of talk but has yet to come up for a committee vote.

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