Hurdles in American Smokers Life

by Albert Nale - Date: 2007-07-20 - Word Count: 546 Share This!

Not many consumer products are taxed like cigarettes and cigars in America. It'll be evident if you calculate its relative percentage value embedded in a pack of cigarette's actual market cost. Even what you call the cheap cigarettes are itself taxed very heavily. For example, the tax free discount cheap cigarettes one could purchase from the online stores are priced at more than half the market rate of a pack of cheap Marlboro or Salem. The huge difference between the two is nothing but the unpaid tax by the online sellers.

But the future does not hold any promise either as far as average American smokers are concerned. Every other state is proposing new bills or a tax hike of late that still shoots up the existing prices per carton. For example, in Connecticut, the Joint Public Health Committee has passed a bill that proposes a tax hike of 31% per pack of cigarettes. The proposal is now in waiting for the approval of the Joint Finance Committee.

In Indiana, a 25% tax hike on cigarettes was beaten in the State House by a thin margin, but is now pending in the State Senate for consideration. The Governor is also supporting the tax hike. In Maryland, on the other hand, a $1 hike has already been approved by the Maryland House of Delegates, while in New Hampshire, a new legislation that introduces a tax increase of 28 cents and 50 cents respectively on certain cigarette brands has been proposed by the senate and is pushed by the Governor for clearance on the floor.

In South Carolina, the subcommittee of the House has passed a bill proposing a 30 cent hike per pack of cigarettes by 2-1 margin. In Wisconsin, the hike proposed by the governor is $1.25 per pack. In Florida and Pennsylvania as well, the scene is no different.

If these proposals or laws are some sort of curbs or ‘deterrents' on a smoker's ambitions, what about a law that bans cigarette smoking out rightly in selected places? If to believe certain latest news reports, this is true. A bill that bans smoking in public places and selected areas is seriously considered by the law making bodies of states such as Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas, to name a few.

In Idaho, recently a bill that bans smoking in bowling alleys was vetoed by the governor, only to be overridden by wide margins in the State House and Senate. In Illinois, the Senate has passed a bill that bans smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars and clubs. Now only the state House's approval for the same is pending. In Maryland, a bill meant for nearly the same purpose is currently awaiting the Governor's signature. The scene in North Carolina, Texas, and New Mexico are not any different either as bills banning smoking in public places are at various stages of its approval/debate.

To sum it up, the already tax burdened life of an average American smoker's life does not seem to be heading towards any reprieve; instead, there are only more taxations and newer bills that bans them from puffing off in public places in immediate sight. No wonder, more and more people opt for cheap discount cigarettes.

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