Florida: Where It's Good to be a Smoker, Bad to be a Lung
|Smoke up, Florida!|
Kentucky raised their state taxes on cigarettes and booze yesterday. Residents will now pay 60 cents in state taxes per pack of cigarettes.
So there's good news and bad news for Floridians. This means that the nation's two biggest tobacco-producing states, Kentucky and North Carolina, both have higher taxes on cigarettes than the
sunshine smoke-filled state. (North Carolina pays 35 cents per pack; Florida pays 33.9 cents.)
But State Bill 1840, approved this week by Florida's Senate Finance and Tax Committee, would change that. The bill proposes a one dollar per pack increase on cigarette tax.
A poll from Quinnipiac University published in January shows Florida voters support the dollar increase by a margin of 71-26 percent.
In a press release from the Florida Hospital Association, the group's CEO and president, Bruce Rueben said,
"The people of Kentucky have recognized that increasing assessments on cigarettes will improve public health, and they will see the benefits soon. Florida's hospitals support an increase in cigarette fees by $1 a pack and hope our legislature will follow Kentucky's lead."
It's pretty hard to argue against a sin tax, especially when every state has such a shortfall. At least this is just smokes and booze. And as we all know, booze ain't food.