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Cigarette cost lessening use?

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June 4 , 2003
by Karen Collier

Albany-- Governor Sonny Perdue has signed a bill that will increase cigarette tax in Georgia by 25-cents per pack. The Governor says the tax is to help cover the $1.75 billion expense the state now pays for smoking-related illnesses.

April Martin is a former smoker who quit for her health, but the increasing price of cigarettes contributed to her decision. "When I quit, it was really, when the price had started going up for the first time, about $4.00 a pack. That really made me know it was easier to quit for me then, because I couldn't really afford it."

The price of cigarettes is about to go up again. Governor Sonny Perdue signed a tobacco tax increase Wednesday. The new tax will increase each pack of cigarettes by 25-cents, meaning that a carton of cigarettes will cost two dollars more than it does now.

Business owner J. R. Culp doesn't believe the extra tax will affect cigarette sales. "Well, I've talked to a lot of people in the last week about it and they said they'll just have to pay it and keep on smoking."

But April believes smokers may want to rethink their smoking and spending habits. "If they're on a budget like you know, most people that I know, then it probably will make a big difference it probably will help them quit the habit altogether."

Hitting smokers in the pocketbook may be the only way to convince some of them to quit. The tax will go into effect July first.

posted at 4:50 PM by dave.miller@walb.com