Mini-Cigars to Face a New Tax Increase
The taxes on mini-cigars will increase four times, to 70 cents on the dollar. The present state law is among a great number of decrees to become effective on Sunday. “The way these cigars are advertised and the way that they are brought to stores, it seems that there are targeting young people,” stated Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell, a Baltimore Democrat and the main supporter of the tax increase that will make Maryland’s rate the 10th largest in the country.
Mini-cigars are among the giant sellers at the St. Paul Food Market in Mount Vernon. Retailers do not put these products in a display, keeping them behind the counter. Their customers know that here the prices for cigars are lower than chain stores, and owners always require customers to present identification in order to make sure that they are 18 years old. Tauqeer Ahmed, who runs this store said: “ Mini cigars were not popular, but when the state lifted cigarette tax, many smokers switched to this smoking product. Probably five or six years ago nobody anted to purchase these.” Representative of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Peter H. Fisher declared that years of experience demonstrate that higher prices assure a decreasing smoking rate among youngsters.
A current research led by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene demonstrated that youngsters were smoking cheaper cigars more frequently. Cigarette smoking among youngsters has been dropping between 2000 and 2010, while cigar consumption raised by 10%, according to a research. Government officials consider that higher tobacco taxes will produce around $5 million in the first year then the profit will decrease. Officials declare that the General Assembly increased the mini-cigars tax to iterate that of cigars. The wholesale tax on smokeless tobacco products rose to 30%. Legislators set the tax for premium cigars at 15%, prompting representatives of the mini-cigar industry to accuse the state of “true discrimination. Smokers from urban areas, have to pay 70% when they even can’t afford it, and those wealthy lighting up premium cigar, are not covered by any tax,” stated Bruce Bereano, lobbyist for the Maryland Association of Tobacco and Candy Wholesalers.By Sara Norton, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2012 Cigarette-Store.org. All rights reserved.