Pa. cigarette tax increase in place; Some say they will stop smoking

Local News

Monday is the first day for Pennsylvania’s cigarette tax increase.

That increase comes from the revenue package Gov. Wolf signed into law in early July to help fund the $31.5 billion state budget

A pack of cigarettes on Sunday was $6.78, but Monday it cost $8.06 because of the $1-tax increase per pack.

Local cigarette sellers said people are not happy about the increase.

Nicole Patterson, sales associate at Country Fair on Upper Peach Street, said all customers buying cigarettes Monday are angry and upset because of the $1-per-pack tax increase.

That increase brings the total cost of tax from $1.60 to $2.60, the largest increase on Pennsylvania smokers since 1935..

Patterson said last week people were stocking up on cartons of cigarettes prior to the increase.

“I bought my last carton (Sunday),” said Sandy Witosky, manager at Smoker Friendly. “It was $72. It’s going to go to $87 (Monday). So I will have bought my last carton and I’ll start the patches.”

She said people are also telling her they will be forced to quit.

“A lot of them saying that they are going to quit,” Patterson said. “I’ve had people still coming in saying they haven’t bought them in a week just because of the increase.”

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