Cigarette Tax Hike of 62 cents per PACK

OK, it’s true, I really, really hate to be around people who smoke. Whether they are smoking or not. For me, the smell itself makes it really hard to breathe. (I was blessed with a mother, a seamstress, who used my room as her workroom. She smoked incessantly – and my bed, clothes, books, everything around me reeked of smoke. I moved out as soon as I was legally able to leave.)

Even when they’re not smoking, their clothes and hair and skin are permeated with the stench of the burnt tobacco. When they sit on chairs or couches in your home, the fabrics and foam in the furniture absorb the smell and you can’t get it out. (No, those wonderful sprays don’t get the smell out – they just add their smell to the tobacco smell.) Or you hug a smoker, the smell stays in your clothes. You really must love a smoker very much to hug one.

But even as anti-smoking as I am, even I think a tax of 62 centers per PACK is outrageous. Heck, you used to be able to get a whole carton for about that price.

The new tax hike is part of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is designed to provide healthcare coverage to children of families not poor enough for medicaid and not rich enough to be able to afford to pay for health care. You can read all the summaries and notes that the Senate Finance Committee released here.

Knowing that this was coming, the tobacco industry has also raised prices on their packs. Why? Well, they know they’ll be selling fewer packs. Smoking is going to be a very expensive proposition. But at least smokers can finally feel good about their indulgence – you’ll be supporting health insurance for children, and even some adults.

(OH, my mother no longer smokes. She stopped about 20 years ago. She finally understands why I used to be so angry with her all the time.)