Smokers in West Virginia may soon have to pay more for cigarettes. A group called the coalition for a tobacco free West Virginia is backing a senate bill that would double the tax on tobacco products. The group says they hope the tax hike will encourage smokers to kick their habit.
Around the country and around West Virginia smokers are the “butt” of many attacks.
In Kanawha County and Cabell County you're not allowed to smoke in restaurants. Putnam County took that a step further, banning smoking in all public places including restaurants and even bars. Now, a state senate bill may make smoking even more inconvenient. The bill would double the tax on tobacco products, raising the state's cigarette tax from .55 cents to a $1.10.
The Coalition for a Tobacco Free West Virginia is backing the bill. The group wants the extra money to go toward health and prevention efforts aimed at tobacco users.
The proposed tax hike is sparking some criticism because some people think it's way too much.
Between West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, Ohio has the highest tax on cigarettes. It's $1.25, while Kentucky's tax is just .30 cents.