Tax on pack of cigarettes goes up a buck Friday in Cook County
BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org February 28, 2013 6:50PM
AP File Photo
Updated: April 2, 2013 6:34AM
Beginning Friday, smokers will pay an extra $1 in tax for a pack of cigarettes in Cook County. In Chicago, the total tax will increase to $6.67.
New York city still holds title for “most-taxed pack of smokes” at $6.86.
The tax increase is part Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s plan to generate more than $25 million in revenue and save residents from premature deaths caused by smoking.
“It is a proven public policy tool that will bring in needed revenue for our public health system, while lowering smoking rates and preventing people from picking up the deadly habit,” Preckwinkle said in a news release.
Preckwinkle noted that the county will step up measures to catch anyone trying to circumvent the county’s new tax by smuggling, purchasing and distributing cigarettes without county stamps.
Dr. Sandra Burke, president of the Chicago Metropolitan Board of Directors of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, delights in the second-only-to-New York title when it comes to expensive cigarettes.
“While this is a point of pride for the American Heart Association, we know it will be a point of irritation and anger for smokers,” Burke said in the news release. “Frankly, that’s exactly what we’re counting on. Hopefully, this increase in the cost of cigarettes will be the straw that broke the camel’s back, motivating some smokers to quit this deadly habit.”