Cigarette tax will be hiked in April

Published 11:59 pm Friday, March 20, 2009

On April 1, smokers will have to dig a bit deeper into pockets already hit hard in these economic times.

That’s when the federal excise tax on cigarettes will increase from 39 cents per pack to a whopping $1.01.

Jim Mohon, supervisor of nine Gitty-Up-N-Go stores in Covington and neighboring counties, said his customers are well aware of the increase.

“And they don’t think it’s fair,” Mohon said. “Some say they’ll have to quit, because it costs so much now, but some say they will continue regardless of how much it costs.”

Mohon, who is a smoker, falls into the latter category.

“I’m not going to quit,” he said. “That’s my one vice. It would hurt my health too much to quit, I think. Too much stress, and my blood pressure would go all out of whack.”

Currently, prices range from $4.65 per pack for “premium” cigarettes to $5.60 for name brands, he said.

“There are 10 packs per carton, so that’s $51.99 per carton,” he said. “The new tax made the price go up $7.20 per carton — and that’s all tax, no extra profit.”

For those who decide the cost of smoking is too much to pay, contact James Anderson at 334-493-3541, ext. 108, at Mizell Memorial Hospital for information on how to quit smoking.