State increases cigarette tax 40 cents a pack

Indiana smokers will be paying more for their habit starting today as more than 100 new state laws take effect.

The recently passed tax and budget bill will cause cigarette taxes to go up 40 cents per pack, raising prices to about $4. The last increase for cigarette taxes in Indiana was in 1987.

A majority of the money, 83.97 percent, collected from the increased cigarette tax will be deposited into the state general fund. Smaller amounts will go to the pension relief fund, the cigarette tax fund, and the mental health centers fund.

Smokers have taken notice of the increased tax. An employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, at Low Bob's Tobacco Town, 1716 E. Memorial Drive, said customer demand has increased with the tax.

"In the past couple of days we've had a lot of people come in because of it," the employee said. "Kind of what you would expect with any increase."

Ball State smokers disliked the tax.

"I think it sucks," said Ben Warner, a junior architecture student from Michigan.

Warner said when he moved to Indiana, he was glad that prices were cheaper than his home state. With the tax increase, Warner said he was going to try to quit smoking.

"I heard a lot of people are going to (quit)," he said.

Not all students said the tax would deter their habit. Jeramiah Dudelston, a sophomore psychology major, said the tax increase wouldn't affect his habit.

"I'm addicted," Dudelston said. "If you need the money (to buy cigarettes), you're going to find it."

Other laws that will affect students also begin tomorrow, including a law forcing landlords and tenants to work together to maintain safer living environments.

Under the law, tenants are required to use electrical, plumbing, heating and other systems in a reasonable manner. The act will make it illegal to damage, destroy or remove any part of the rental premises, and tenants must obey "reasonable" regulations set by the landlord.

Landlords are required to provide a safe, clean and habitable environment. The law will also require landlords to maintain electrical, plumbing, heating and other systems in good repair. They must comply with all health and housing codes in their area.


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