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Cigarette prices to increase by $2 a pack

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SACRAMENTO — Smokers and the businesses that serve them are gearing up for a major tax hike.

Starting Saturday, the price of cigarettes increases by $2 a pack. The price of all other tobacco products will be going up as well.

Effective April 1, the cigarette tax in California more than triples from $.87 cents to $2.87 meaning every posted cigarette price will go up by at least two dollars.

While some smokers were preparing to cut back, others were stocking up on cartons for the short term and planning to figure out the rest later.

Cigarette smokers aren’t the only ones affected. On April 1st, e-cigarette products containing nicotine will start to be taxed in the same way as other nicotine products like cigars and chewing tobacco, at a rate of 27.3 percent of wholesale costs.

Then, July 1st, the price of all non-cigarette nicotine products from vaping juice to loose tobacco to cigarillos will increase to be in line with that of the cigarette tax.

“I agree with it mainly for teenagers, 18- to 21-year-olds, athletes, it discourages them from smoking, so I agree with it,” said Kristin Dauphine

Although she says she has no plans to quit smoking, Dauphine doesn’t oppose the tax, and she’s not the only one.

Collin Winget said he voted for Prop 56, the November ballot initiative that brought the tax about.

“It results in higher health care costs and higher costs to our community, I’m fine with paying a tax on it,” he said.

California has one of the lowest cigarette taxes it the country, more than 80 cents below the national average of $1.63. With the implementation of this tax, California will have the ninth highest statewide tax rate in the country. New York is first at $4.35.