Smoke shop worker says customers cry, ask for single cig thanks to new tax

Categories: Taxes
Sure, smokers aren't thrilled with the $1.60-per-pack tax that went into effect in July, but would you believe some are crying about it?

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That's how the sticker shock has manifested itself at one Twin Cities smoke shop, if a worker there can be believed.

"It's very bad," Abdul Habit, an employee at New Smokes in Maplewood, told MPR. "It went down, like people [are] cutting back. People who used to buy a carton, now they buy five packs. People who used to buy a pack, now they just ask for single cigarette."

"They cry a lot," he added.

Tears or not, cig sales in the state dropped 35 percent this July compared to July 2012, MPR, citing state data, reports. And in August, they were down 12 percent compared to the year prior.

But not everybody is crying. As far as the state is concerned, the tax hike more than makes up for any resulting sales dip. MPR reports that in July and August, cig tax revenue was up nearly 56 percent compared to last year.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at

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