What a Drag

If better health weren't enough of a reason to skip smoking, the cost of cigarettes may prove to finally be a deterrent.

On April 1 the federal excise tax on cigarettes increases from $.39 to $1.01 per pack -- pushing prices to nearly $7 for a pack of name brand cigarettes.  That, of course, includes the state tax of $1.41 per pack and a recent increase in the actual cost of the products to offset the sluggish sales the tobacco companies anticipate after the higher tax goes into effect.

No, that's not an April Fool's Day joke.

Before all you smokers get in a huff over the government pushing the price of nicotine way up -- the additional excise tax was signed into law by President Barack Obama, a smoker, on Feb. 4.  So, he is paying more per pack along with everyone else.

The good news is that the estimated additional $32 billion generated from the increase will go to benefit the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Of course, you don't have to like the new tax or even pay it.  You could always quit and say, "Take that big government!"

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