Smokers will Pay More for their Habit

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- The tax on cigarettes is going up by 62 cents per pack nationwide.  In Arkansas there's a proposed 56 cent increase that is waiting on Governor Beebe's signature.  That's bad news for smokers but not everyone sees it that way.

"As a smoker we all should quit anyway.  There's a point the price keeps going up that's just all the more reason not to smoke," said Tony Gore.

The main reason for the increase is improving healthcare.  Part of the $87.8 million this tax will raise will fund a level one trauma system in the state.

"Medicine, hospitals are all things we need.  It's got to be funded somehow," said Gore.

If Governor Beebe signs the state tax increase, the two taxes combined will total $1.18 extra by the end of March, a per pack price that may lead some to stop lighting up.

"I want to quit.  I know I need to quit.  If the price just keeps going up that's just all the more reason to quit.  Most people are probably going to pay for it.  Most smokers, at the end of the day, it's not the price.  Either they're going to smoke or they're not going to smoke," said Gore.

"Some might quit, but it just depends on how addicted you are to them.  Some might just loose more money as it is trying to buy extra cigarettes," said Jordan Hightower.

There are extra taxes already placed on cigarettes, alcohol even gasoline.

"The bottom line is people are going to buy their cigarettes tobacco there's big money in that they can put a tax on that and it's money they're going to make," said Gore.