John Kasich Pushes Tobacco Tax Hike in Ohio

John Kasich

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, will not refuse from his attempt to increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products in the two-year state budget. Anti-smoking activists believe in a success of his proposal.

The increase of tobacco tax makes part of larger package of taxes planned to be raised in the nearest future. Now the authorities are going to open discussions on possible advantages and disadvantages of tax increase. They want to know if it will make smokers quit and how it will affect retailers in the state of Ohio.

In 2014, Gov. Kasich came with a proposal to raise tax on cigarettes from $1.25 to $1.85 per package, more than 50% on cigars and other tobacco products and introduce a tax on electronic cigarettes in the course of 2 years.

According to Legislative Service Commission, the proposed tax increases will bring to the state budget an additional sum of $635 million during two-year period.

However, the proposal met a strong opposition from tobacco companies, wholesalers and grocers. They consider that high taxes will not make people smoke less. Instead, people will continue to smoke.They just will turn to cheaper cigarettes or go to other states to buy them at reasonable prices.

However, the GOP-controlled legislature rejected the proposal.  Kasich blame lobbyists for this and says that his proposal aims to make society healthier.

In their turn, retailers claim that increase in tobacco and cigarettes taxes will make smokers buy cheaper cigarettes and tobacco online before they decide to quit their habit.

The Ohio Wholesale Marketers Association  analyzed the consequences of 2005 cigarette tax increase from 55 cents to $1.25 per pack. It found that while in Ohio sales went down, in heighboring states they went up. It means that people from ohio went to nearest states to buy tobacco products.

Beth Wymer of the OWMA says modern smokers are quite clever. They always find the ways to get what they want.

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