New tax aims to help curb smoking habit

Published 10:41 am Monday, April 6, 2009

By By Lydia Grimes
features reporter

The cost of a pack of cigarettes went up last week, but Pansy Morris has no plans to give up her habit.
Starting April 1, the federal excise tax on cigarettes increased from 39 cents per pack to $1.01 per pack, with the extra revenue intended to fund the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which funds health insurance for children in families who don’t qualify for Medicaid but don’t make enough money for private insurance.
Experts have said the tax will likely curb smoking — which would create health care savings from reduced tobacco-related illnesses.
But in Brewton, some smokers said they would continue the habit.
Lavenia Kent said she also would like for everyone to be taxed instead of just tobacco users.
But for many smokers, the tax may have the intended effect of reducing tobacco use.
Mamie B. Miles said she was considering quitting her smoking habit.
John B. Brown said he is also thinking about quitting.
Brandy Lucas said she is figuring out new ways to buy her tobacco.
Brewton and East Brewton have smoking ordinances that ban smoking in restaurants and other businesses.