TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Rep. Richard Stark has introduced a bill that would raise the state’s cigarette tax by $1, WCTV-TV reports. “Maybe they won’t do a dollar a pack, maybe they’ll do 50 cents a pack—but do something to raise cigarette awareness. We’re trying to get more and more people to quit,” Stark said.
Stark’s bill faces an uphill battle in the House. “Florida has one of the lowest youth smoking rates in the country, and we should be very proud of that. Right now, Florida’s economy is growing, and this is not the time to raise taxes on the middle class or anyone else,” said House Finance and Tax Committee Chair Matt Gaetz.
Florida’s cigarette tax currently stands at $1.34 per pack. The state’s tobacco tax hasn’t been raised since 2009.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Legislature has a bill that would raise the legal tobacco buying age from 18 to 21. The measure includes both traditional tobacco products as well as vapor or electronic cigarette products.