A new measure introduced to Maine legislatures would increase tax set for a pack of cigarettes from $2 to $4, as recommended by the Maine legislature's Taxation Committee. If approved, the increase would become effective November 1, 2021.

All tobacco products would be included in this tax increase. The taxes from cigarettes bring in $17 million annually which funds the State of Maine's tobacco cessation programs.

The hope is to get more people to quit smoking and using tobacco products.

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Opponents worry that increasing the prices won't help reduce the amount of smokers in Maine but will create a 'black market' for tobacco products in the state.

According to MaineHealth.org, over 17% of Mainers are smokers. Also, it is found that tobacco related cancers in Maine are higher than the national average. Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Androscoggin counties have the highest rates of adults who smoke daily or most days. Cumberland County and Knox County are the only counties in Maine that has lower rates of adults that smoke daily or most days than the national average.

For more about the act, visit www.legislature.maine.gov.

 

 

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