A one-time tax on cigarette supplies has generated more than $30.4 million, most of which will be used as a backup funding stream for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. The Minnesota Department of Revenue released new details Tuesday.
It’s been a month since the state’s cigarette sales tax increased by more than a dollar and-a-half a pack. That’s brought the total tax on cigarettes to more than $2.80 per pack.
Doctors have been searching for years for a solution to help people quit smoking, and now one factor has helped significantly — the cost. In the first week of Minnesota’s new higher tax on cigarettes, nearly 2,500 Minnesotans visited the Quitplan Services website and 400 people called the hotline for help in quitting.
Is the $1.60 a pack tax too much for smokers?
A big jump in the state’s cigarette tax is still more than two weeks away, but it’s already having a huge impact on smokers. They’re stocking up and changing their habits.
Minnesota is weeks away from having the nation’s sixth highest tax on cigarettes when the new $2.83-a-pack charge kicks in. The Minnesota Department of Revenue on Thursday put a finer point on tax changes the Legislature approved in May. Increases in tobacco taxes were key parts of a new state budget.
Outside downtown office buildings, many smokers didn’t want to talk about the possibility of a tax that will push a lot of cigarettes into the $8-a-pack range. Dan Jones says the tax may be the push he needs “It’s a tax on something that you don’t need… I’m ok with it actually “Jones said. “Who knows, maybe it will finally give me the motivation I need to stop doing it.”
Leading Minnesota lawmakers have sorted out a tax package that is the linchpin of the next state budget. The top two percent of income earners will pay two percent more on a portion of their income. The per-pack tax on cigarettes will rise by $1.60. Some corporate tax preferences will go away. But there won’t be any changes to the alcohol tax.
Theater employees in Minnesota are pushing back against a call to ban smoking on stage.
Minnesota State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer said he wants to make it clear: Smoking will still be allowed on the fairgrounds, but not nearly in as many areas.
The Freedom to Breath Act went into effect five years ago on Monday, banning smoking in restaurants, bars and public work places.
The state’s first city to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants wants to take the war against tobacco one step further. The Duluth city council will soon be voting on a proposed ordinance that would ban smokers from lighting up outside along its popular waterfront and parks.
A 26-year-old man faces charges for allegedly shattering seven windows with a mallet at a Minneapolis market last month after complaining of tainted products, authorities said.
Minnesota’s top health official says the state may be slipping in its effort to reduce smoking. State Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said Minnesota has seen a reduction in smoking in recent years but the rate of reduction has slowed.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester are using an unlikely weapon in the fight against nicotine addiction. It’s not mice, but zebrafish.