Minn. Smokers Will Pay More for a Pack Starting Monday

Updated: 06/30/2013 12:58 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

Smokers should prepare for some sticker shock on Monday.
Minnesota's cigarette tax will more than double, from $1.23 to $2.83.

The increase will likely push many smokers to finally kick the habit, according to public health officials. They say it’s a good thing for people’s health.
However, retailers who sell cigarettes say they'll take a big hit when it comes to revenue.

Store owner Paul Graffunder said, “People come in to buy the cigarettes and then we get the ancillary sales off of that. Or just people coming in to the store, saying hi, on a daily basis, weekly basis, something like that. Those people, that's what I’m afraid we're going to lose.”
The new tax is projected to bring the state more than $400 million every two years.
That could be much lower if a lot of smokers quit or buy cheaper cigarettes in bordering states.

The tax is part of new laws that go into effect July 1.