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$1.00 Per Pack Ciggarette Tax In Texas Jan 1st

January 2nd, 2007 at 12:41 am

I am in the convenience store business in Tex. Today a new $1 per pack tax was implemented on ciggarettes. Do you think this will deter smokers? What is your opinion? I refuse to pay another dollar and on top of that you must pay another .08 cents tax on the $1 tax! I realize smoking is a waste of money and that it is bad for your health etc, but I think this move is ridiculous!

27 Responses to “$1.00 Per Pack Ciggarette Tax In Texas Jan 1st”

  1. Treponema Says:

    Why do you think this is ridiculous? I with it was a $5.00 a pack tax... hell, I wish it was $50 or just illegal. It is really sad to take care of people who lay there all day long breathing their oxygen and are unable to walk because their lung function is ruined by smoking.

  2. living_in_oz Says:

    WOW! I don't have an opinion really. I'm not a smoker and never have been. I would think that this would cause a lot of smokers to reevaluate their desire to smoke....

  3. baselle Says:

    The person before me in line for groceries bought a brand name pack - $6.49. (WA state). I feel for you, but if you smoke and you're trying to save money, its like swimming laps with concrete shoes.

  4. cindilee Says:

    Well, if we are going to tax smokers for smoking lets tax people for drinking alcohol also! Why not just make it illegal to smoke? To me that makes more sense. Most smokers are going to pay the tax, whether it be a dollar or five dollars. It's all about the money not the health of the smoker, absolutely ridiculous!

  5. cindilee Says:

    $6.49????? Holy Moly! Here in Texas name brand now would be about 4.79 or so.......and I thought that was expensive! So in Washington a carton would be $65.00! Wow!!!!

  6. denisentexas Says:

    We'd already decided to quit smoking and although I live in Texas I'd forgotten this was going into effect until I saw the paper Saturday.

    I'm twice as glad now we're quitting! We simply can't afford to pay that $1 tax on every pack and if we hadn't already decided to quit, that tax definitely would make us quit..or at least attempt to.

  7. marymara Says:

    My husband died of lung cancer when we were both fifty. He was a very heavy smoker. Smoking not only ended his life, but affected the lives of his two sons, and my life as well. One of my sons is now a smoker. He thinks he is immortal. Go figure!

  8. cindilee Says:

    I'm very sorry to hear about your husband Marymara. I had a dear aunt and uncle who also died from lung cancer from heavy smoking, it was and is very sad. My mother also chain smokes, seems that she always has a cig in her hand, hardly see her without one. But I don't think the tax on cigs will stop her. It wouldn't stop most of the smokers I know. That was the point of my post, not to say that it is not very bad for your health because, no doubt about it, it surely is!

  9. disneysteve Says:

    Why do you think it is ridiculous? I think the more expensive the better. Anything that makes people think twice about buying a pack, or makes people smoke them a little slower is a good thing. Although a price hike may not get many adults to quit, one thing it might do is affect how many young kids start, because their money tends to be more limited.

    Of course, addicts will pay whatever they need to pay. In Atlantic City, for example, cigarettes are over $10/pack in the casinos and they still sell plenty of them. Although if they are successful in passing the smoking ban for the casinos, that might bring an end to that. Of course, that will probably cost me money because I love going to the casino but never do because of the smoke. If they become smoke-free, I'm sure I will visit a lot more often.

  10. ifeel100 Says:

    Im smoker too, bt plan reduce slowly... limit myself smokes only durin my work. I start smokin when $5/pack, now up until $7.40 & wil b abt $8 soon Frown
    Mayb wilb wl change 2 other cheaper brand / DIY cigi?!
    (I stay in M'sia)

  11. cindilee Says:

    I think it is ridiculous because I dont see that it will really deter anyone. One of our stores is in a poor neighborhood. Actually a housing project. That store sells more alcohol and cigs than any of our other stores. It also has the highest theft. So in effect I think this tax mainly affects the already poor. Most of the people that come into that store are on public assistance. Do you think that is right? If you can afford ciggarettes should you even recieve welfare? None of it really makes sense to me. I would rather see them banned altogether if they are so bad for your health. Why does that not happen instead?

  12. baselle Says:

    Well, if we are going to tax smokers for smoking lets tax people for drinking alcohol also!
    Actually, WA state taxes liquor. I only wish that WA state would ban the lottery, too.

  13. LuckyRobin Says:

    WA state has, I think $4.50 cigarette tax, on top of regular sales tax and yes, you are taxed on the tax. We also have a tax on all hard liquor and a surtax on soda pop and candy, and I think its 30 cents on gasoline on top of sales tax. On top of that we have the highest sales tax in the nation. You can't smoke anywhere but the Indian casinos and if you smoke outside you have to be 25 feet from any window, door, or intake ventilation pipe of any business by law. Our state smoking rate is, I believe now at 30% of the total population. It used to be closer to half. So yes, I think it works taxing it to death for people to quit. Or better yet, deterring them from ever starting the addictive habit.

  14. monkeymama Says:

    I used to vote in all those taxes, but we just had a measure in Cali this last elections and it was aNOTHER $1 tax on cigs. I voted against it though it passed.

    I used to think these people should pay more tax for healthcare and program, but for now it just passes the border of insanity. Make it illegal then. It seems unfair to tax one group of people SO MUCH for something the tobacco industry makes so much on. I would say tax the industry, but the would probably just pass the tax to the end-user anyway, eh?

    I think the bottom line is I know too many smokers who are not deterred by higher taxes, just drowning in debts instead. California is slamming residents this year who bought cigs online to avoid taxes. They got individual records from the vendors and are going after the money - many people in for a nasty surprise.

    I think my thinking has changed because I see so much lately how much things affect the poor. How much they are charged a premium on everything. So I thought about this issue a little different this year. It doesn't seem to be helping anyone, who knows where the tax money is REALLY going with all this robbing peter to pay paul in California right now. I figured the cig smokers deserved a small break.

    Oh I just checked - the measure to raise taxes to $3.47 a pack from 87 cents did not pass after all. Hey I voted on the side of big tobacco apparently, great...

  15. disneysteve Says:

    This is a complex issue, and I've got mixed feelings. Yes, higher cigarette prices have a bigger impact on the poor. But if that's the case, maybe the poor should stop smoking. The percentage of poor people who smoke is much higher than for those with higher incomes. The same is true for buying lottery tickets. Perhaps the poor wouldn't be quite so poor if they didn't waste their money on cigarettes and lottery.

    Overall, the rate of smoking in this country has gradually declined and now stands at about 21% of adults. Some of that drop is probably due to better education about the dangers of smoking. Some is due to the social stigma and bans on smoking in public places. And some is probably due to higher prices. I think whatever gets people to stop is good.

    And you can't compare smoking and drinking. Smoking is highly addictive and has no beneficial qualities. Most people who drink alcohol do so on a very casual basis - very few are alcoholics. And there have been numerous studies showing medical benefits to moderate drinking. The two just aren't at all equivalent.

  16. denisentexas Says:

    ifeel100, that's what we did, reduce slowly. We made a hard and fast rule to smoke outside the house only then after a couple of weeks it was expanded so that there was no smoking in the truck. Then we were down to just a few smokes a day. It helps to do that, I think. By the time we gave it up totally, we were down to a lot less cigarettes per day.

    DisneySteve, I agree that more poor folks smoke than rich. Why? I haven't a clue. One would think it would be the other way around. However,it might be a self-medication sort of thing, I don't think it's an education issue but who knows?

  17. simpleyme Says:

    I cannot even remember how much our tax is here in Oregon ,i too am in the convenience store industry and boy this tax put a stress on the store ,every pack is taxed this really sucks on the buy one get on free offers people get so ticked at me ! we do not even offer the buy one get ones anymore as tax must be paid on the free pack so 1 pack cost 4 dollars people think the buy one get ones should only be 4 dollars not 6 and accuse us of stealing

    the store makes 15 cents on each pack whoohoo the only one making money on cigarettes is our state

  18. living_in_oz Says:

    Well, personally the more I think about it, the more I support the tax. Yes, people have a right to smoke if they want to. BUT, if they do, it's almost a 100% chance that they will have serious health issues down the line. Who ends up footing the bill for those health issues down the line? The American taxpayer! From just my own experience, I know of at least half a dozen or more smokers(or former smokers) that are on full disability(SSI) due to fact that they ruined their health from smoking. My Grandpa smoked for years and then finally quit in his 50's. Still, he ended up dying from lung cancer with Medicare paying for his health care.
    IMO, it only seems fair to charge smokers with an extra tax since they'll be using our tax dollars down the road.

  19. disneysteve Says:

    "it only seems fair to charge smokers with an extra tax since they'll be using our tax dollars down the road."

    The problem you run into with this argument is what about all the people who are obese. They are suffering (or will suffer) with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, strokes, arthritis, sleep apnea, cancer, etc. and will cost the system billions and billions of dollars. Their conditions are just as self-induced as lung disease is from smoking. How do you tax them?

  20. cindilee Says:

    It is very complex and it is hard to really answer what should be done. I know at the one store that I was talking of there are many alcoholics, gamblers and smokers. It does make you wonder why the poor have such bad habits? Anyone have any ideas on that? Maybe they smoke because they think they are stressed out about finances, and maybe drink for the same reason. Maybe they gamble and play the lottery hoping for that one big win to get them out of the poorhouse! Who knows? Personally I still don't agree with the tax but that's just my opinion, right or wrong.

  21. LuckyRobin Says:

    I think the problem with comparing obesity diseases to smoking diseases is that a person who is addicted to smoking can stop smoking. Yes, it is very hard andmay require mutlitple attempts and medication to do it, but they can quit. They make a choice to not quit or to quit. A person who is addicted to food can not just stop eating. You can't go cold turkey (pardon the pun) on eating. You must eat to live. You do not need to smoke to live.

    So much of the new research indicates that even though many people are consuming a moderate number of calories they are gaining weight. It is the food additives and preservatives, colorants, MSG and MSG act-alikes (of which there are close to 100), sulfates, sulfites, nitrates, nitrites, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweetners from non-natural sources that are causing tremendous weight gain in the American population.

    It is also becoming clear that the problems with obesity in America began with the introduction of the food pyramid by the government and its gazillion servings of grain products, which just happened to coincide with an enormous surplus of grain, corn (and the resulting corn syrup), and rice that had been subsidized by the government. The whole low-fat, high carb phase that followed this coincides with the last 10 years of extreme weight gain in our country.

    People have tried to eliminate all fat from their diets to the point that they have robbed themselves of the nutrients needed for healthy functioning. Did you know that your eyes require 20 grams of fat all by themselves each day to function properly? Or that brain function requires much more than that? Yet, fat is the enemy. The old party line. You need olive oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed, walnut, seasame, canola, omega-3 oils, for your body to funciton properly.

    And what have they replaced the fat with? Low fat, high sugar, highly processed items. Or artificial sweetners, which despite their lack of real sugar, can still cause an insulin dump that gives diabetics great difficulty as they have bought in to the old party line. Which the body promptly stores any excess of as fat. Eating from the four food groups as in the 70s and 80s saw a much healthier population than we have now. Even the updated pyramid is so far off the mark. Balance is essential between fats, protein, and healthy minimally processed carbs like vegetables, fruits and whole wheat products.

    And that doesn't even cover the folks with genetic issues or serotonin issues. People with low serotonin in their brains can be driven by extreme cravings to eat even when they are not hungry. Studies on mice and rats have shown this as well. Obviously some people eat to gluttony because they can. But I think the majority of the overweight population is driven by eating the wrong government approved foods.

    Did you know that the genetic markers for food addiction, nicotine addiction, opiate addiction and alcohol addiction are all next to each other on the same chromosome? If you are prone for one it is likely you would be prone for all.

    Anyway, comparing smokers, who have inflicted their issues on themselves (they've known for 30 years now that smoking kills you) with obese people who for the most part are trying to do what they have been told is right (because honestly, how many people do the research themselves and read the studies like I have?) is not even close to a straight-forward comparison. Just my opinion on the whole issue anyway.

  22. cherylyates Says:

    I'm a tobacco addiction specialist working in the field for over 10 years. This is one of the steepest taxes I've heard of: $1.00 a pack will deter kids from starting to smoke and disable their ability to smoke more once they do start. That's the main intent ---other than to raise gov't funds on the backs of already addicted adults. Studies show that raising taxes will drop rates over time. Problem is---and it's a big one and immoral---that states will not uses these funds to implement smoking cessation programs to help people who are ready to quit. Also----you know who the biggest smokers are?? The mentally ill! Their smoking rates are 4-5 times higher than the well population. Their incomes are usually government subsidized and they require nicotine to balance the wacked out brain chemistry they have to deal with. The whole thing is a moral disgrace. I've worked in this field for 10 years---80 % of smokers want to quit and would if they could. They are addicted to a drug as powerful as cocaine and heroin and they get no help from the medical community to quit. A medical and political outrage....don't get me started!!!!

  23. fern Says:

    Smoking never did anything good for anyone, either the people who take it up or the rest of us, so the tax doesn't bother me in the least.

  24. cindilee Says:

    Wow Cherrylyates, that is very interesting! I would like to look more into all of this and read studies etc. It does and always has interested me that the store I mention in the "projects" does sell more tobacco and alcohol. What you say rings true!

  25. Thrifty Ray Says:

    As a non-smoking adult child of two former smoking addicts...I have to chime in.

    As a youngster, I remember driving in the car, windows rolled up and both parents puffing away- one after another...dinner was always concluded with smoking...home parties...smoking....tv...smoking....and on and on...and then there were the ashtrays...full of ashes and butts...ugh.

    Now- I have parents who have major health issues--my dad is deteriorating from COPD (formerly known as emphazema) and struggles for every single breath he takes. (He quit smoking almost 30 years ago...but had previously smoked for 40)...and my moms arteries are shot due in part to all the smoking.

    And we all pick up the tab for the added health costs from smoking....so tax away IMO. I have nothing good to say about this nasty habit.

  26. debtfreeme Says:

    If the tax money is going to good projects for health related education, care or such, yes I am in favor if the high taxes. Just as I was in favor of the snack tax that was implemented in Ca a few years ago. Why not tax those using the products that are bad for their health. As some point of another they will need to be taken care of if they choose to have this behavior.

    And I am not discriminating here, I happen to be overweight and have eaten the bad for me foods and suffered the consequences. Now I am working to change my eating habits through educations (health education and nutrition) and exercise and activities. If you make the choice, live with the taxes and consequences. But just because you have free will and choice does not mean you should make those choices.

  27. rcent106 Says:

    Right, don't compare alcohol to cigarettes. Tax them "for the good of all".
    I have heard all the crap for years. Thing is its an agenda and I am against it. I have heard that they are short of funds because of the costs - lets tax them to make up for the shortfall - they can fund it since they use it. Numbers are reduced, costs go up and guess what - they are shot of funds again, lets tax them again and again and as was said in a previous post, what help do these "addicts" get for nothing like other areas?
    Alcohol - who needs it? There may be some medical uses but for that "occassional drinker" referred to, why take a chance on the possible addiction and death? Doesn't effect anyone else? Ask those that have lost loved ones involving drunk driving. An occassional drink doesn't make a diiffernce? One drink can effect judgement that could involve me on the road. How about the drunk on his porch that started shooting into the neighbors house from his porch (3 houses actually).
    Go after smokers to make them quit? Triple taxes on alcohol, make a tax and Triple it for chocolate, triple it for....

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