Double State Tax On Cigarettes?

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) — Smokers will see an increase in the price of their habit soon, if the Illinois Coalition against Tobacco gets its way.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Brian Seay reports, a $1 tax hike per pack of cigarettes would $400 million for the state, and prevent 78,000 Illinois kids from taking up smoking, according to a report by the coalition.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Brian Seay Reports

University of Illinois at Chicago economics professor Frank Chaloupka drafted the report. He said not only would the state collect more money, it would also spend less on Medicaid.

“Because of the reduction in tobacco use, we’d also see significant reductions in the health care costs that the state’s spending to treat diseases caused by tobacco use,” Chaloupka said. “I estimate in the first year alone that that would be over $50 million.”

The cigarette tax increase proposal would raise the tax from 98 cents to $1.98

It has already passed the state Senate. State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said if the bill does not pass the state House of Representatives during the lame duck session, he will bring it up when the new General Assembly starts up in a couple of weeks.

With the current state, county and city taxes, the price of a pack of cigarettes is close to $10 in some parts of Chicago.

Advocates of cigarette tax hikes say they save lives. But critics often predict higher cigarette prices would drive more people to buy their cigarettes in neighboring states.

  • Curto

    I’ll go to Indiana to buy my cigarettes. What the politicians in Springfield need to do is find a way to CUT the budget, not generate more money that they can spend. CUT THE WASTE!!!

  • Lisa

    Myself and all the smokers I know now purchase our cigarettes in Indiana where they are nearly half the price. It doesn’t make people quit- makes them buy cigarettes outside of Chicago, Cook County and Illinois so all three are losing with the tax increase.

  • kathy

    Isn’t it time to start worrying about ALCOHOL instead of cigarettes? What about all the drunken driving accidents, and alcohol poisoning, and drunken killings and beatings. Raise the prices and taxes on alcohol as much as you do on cigarettes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • LOTD

      Great point that I have often raised myself!!! I suppose the alcohol lobby is throwing more $$ at these lousy politicians.

    • Russ


  • Mike Diz

    First they increase parking to have the highest public parking prices in the country, then want to charge $20 to get into the Taste of Chicago. And now $1 tax increase on cigarettes? Wow… Open your eyes state government. Taxing the hell out of your residents and people visiting is NOT the answer. You will just push people away from living here or coming here.

    Why not look within your own organization and CUT the state cost and expenses????? Hmmmm.. now there is an idea. The state of ILL is spending 2x more than it is making. (Saw on tv. on the show 60mins).

  • D

    Let’s add a one dollar tax to everything. In fact, I would prefer a ten dollar tax on everything. I can’t wait to file my taxes this year so I can voluntarily give the government ALL my money. OK, time to don my olive drab jumpsuit, army boots and Obama armband so I can goose-step to work in order to pay the government.

    • LOTD

      so true!!! That’s EXACTLY what “he” wants. I refuse to even speak his name. NOT my president!!! Wake the hell up America!!

      • Average Guy

        You people are nuts! What does Obama have to do with state taxes? I’ll bet you don’t even know who your state senator is?

  • r dross

    isnt it discrimanatory to tax the hell out of one group of people simply to enforce your views class action lawsuit?

  • Joe


  • Just the Average Joe

    Smoker’s quit, it’s better for your health. If you are going to smoke, buy them online in SC, cheap, and a few cartons pay the freight. You also get the benefit of denying the state the tax money that they will waste, or spend on corruption.

    • Average Guy

      Yeah, you’re the bright one who’s encouraging people to break the law. Obama signed the PACT Act. (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009). The law bans the United States Postal Service from delivering tobacco products. Are you a Lawyer, maybe a government Lawyer?

  • James

    This should not be tolerated. Our Governments need to spend responsibly, not tax the working class to fund their irresponsible actions. The working class is dying under the current trend of “democracy” in the USA.

    Whether you are a smoker or not, this is a very distressing trend where the government is NOT “we the people” but some upper class of spenders who have no concern what havoc their actions reap upon “we the people”.

  • lo

    i like how they’re using the excuse of kids not smoking so much if they raise the taxes on them, they did it before and kids were still buying them, plus these kids will buy them no matter what they cost, alot of kids are willing to pay $60 for a bag of marijauna that only lasts them a couple of days, why wouldn’t they still spend it on cigarettes?
    i agree with the others, maybe they should look to cutting their finances first!

  • whatdoiknow?

    only the dumbest keep smoking & paying the taxes for their cancer causing killing cigarettes, no matter where, what state, etc…

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