The recent and forthcoming tax increases make Arkansas smokers cross the sate lines in order to stock for less expensive cigarettes. Since 56 cent hike to Arkansas state cigarette tax entered into force last week, Arkansas smokers began seeking for other opportunities to make their habit less expensive.
All the revenue collected from the tax is supposed to go to several health promoting projects including the funding of Arkansas State a statewide traumatologic station. Tax hike activists as well consider that price increase would help to reduce rates of smokers in the state.
However, Arkansas smokers do not share the opinion of those activists. On the contrary, the majority of them believe that there is a way to spoil state government’s plans. The simplest thing they can do is just rush to neighboring states to buy their favorite cigarettes. 40-year-old chain smoker Phil B. said that the government has gone mad with all that tax hikes; because they tax everything even taxes. “It just doesn’t make any sense,” he smiled.
Mr. Phil B. thinks that the new state cigarette tax making the price of each pack of cigarettes 56 cents more expensive is simply unfair because it puts many people, not only smokers but also tobacco shops employees under pressure. Therefore, according to Mr. Phil B., in this outrageous situation many Arkansas smokers have decided to hit the road and drive to neighboring Missouri in order to buy cigarettes there.
Their decision can be simply explained by the fact that Missouri State imposes only 17 cents tax for a pack, making it the second lowest tax across America. Morris S., a clerk in the cigarettes store in Jane, said that Arkansas residents have been coming to his shop for several years just to stock up on cigarettes.
Morris S. mentioned that he has sold cigarettes to smokers coming for every Arkansas town situated not too far away from Missouri State border line. And with the recent Arkansas state tax increase the situation would become better and better for cigarette shops in Missouri.
And don’t forget that from April, prices on cigarettes would be increased by additional 62 cents due to the increase in the federal tobacco tax.
It’s something that smokers still don’t believe in.
Simon C., director of pro-smoking foundation Forest called the tax hike as a discrimination, declaring that people will do what they want to spite the government efforts.