If you are a smoker then you know that the price of cigarettes and the tax hike on cigarettes has been going through the roof over the past couple of years. The tax increases steadily rose over a period of months and sometimes even weeks and the cigarettemanufacturers steadily raised the average price for a pack of cigarettes-what was left over was a two, if not three dollar increase per pack of cigarettes.
Why Do Cigarettes Cost So Much
Many people believe that the increase in the price of cigarettes is related to getting smokers to quit smoking. If cigarettes cost too much, then everybody will quit. This is a logical thought to have, but it is not the goal behind raising the price and tax of cigarettes. In Febuary 2009 President Obama signed legislation to increase taxes on cigarettes in order to expand the SCHIP in order to provide medical insurance to millions more children across the United States. SCHIP stands for State Childrens Health Program.
The legislation was the first federal tax hike for cigarettes in nearly a decade. The legislation increased the federal tax on cigarettes by 0.62 cents in February 2004 and steadily climbed to over a dollar in taxes. Basically smokers are now paying double for the same brand of cigarettes they were smoking several years ago.
Not only has the federal tax increased on cigarettes, but individual states have passed legislation to further tax cigarettes to fund various projects in the state. An example of state tax increase on cigarettes can be found in Arkansas. Arkansas does not have a Trauma Center, so, in order to fund the building of a Trauma Center in the state, the state passed legislation to raise taxes on cigarettes.
Whether the tax increases are for uninsured children, to build a trauma center, or whatever else the government passes legislation to spend the extra money on, many smokers feel like they are being punished.
Why Do Cigarettes Get Tax Hikes and Not Other Products Such as Beer
When you purchase beer, milk, or a shirt from the mall you generally pay a flat tax rate of 0.07 to 0.10 cents per dollar on taxes. Many do not understand why smokers are being targeted for the funding of projects such as SCHIP or the trauma center in Arkansas. If you are a smoker and find this to be unfair then you may want to join some anti-tobacco tax increase groups, sign petitions, or write a letter to your state or federal leaders. At one point the government wanted to implement a Hamburger Tax. This tax would raise the taxes on fast food purchases in order to fund projects. This legislation was tossed out due to those on welfare or those who are obese felt targeted. Many smokers feel the same type of prejudice and many have started the process of suing the government for allowing such legislation to be passed.