Tobacco Tax Hike: What it means to all

If there’s anything local convenience stores like, it’s a flurry of eager customers hoarding packs and packs of cigarettes before taxes skyrocket on July 1st, 2013.

On the said date, Minnesota’s tobacco taxes have increased by $1.60 per pack which adds up to the total state tax to $2.83 per pack. This increase means a Marlboro will now be at a state minimum of $7.83 per pack of 20’s.

What it means to the business

According to local stores and gasoline stations, their sales Sunday night saw the most dramatic spikes in their sales. Most of the stores have even reported doubling their monthly sales in the last week of June, just in time before the taxes go crazy. Another store reports selling 10 cartons in less than 20 minutes, and a woman claims to have bought stocks amounting to approximately $500, a definite steal compared to when Monday’s taxes go up.

Unfortunately for these stores, the almost sell-out performance of that week was met with very disappointing results come Monday.

What it means to the smokers

The increase in taxes was met with mixed inputs from the public’s end. While it was expected that smokers will react negatively, there are some heavy smokers who commented that the taxes may not impact their smoking habits, although they expect that it will affect their monthly budget.

A small number of smokers though, commented that higher taxes be considered as a sign to quit, or at least to motivate them to do so. Some also noted that they may resort to using electronic cigarettes, which are taxed less than tobacco.