ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Smokers in Minnesota start paying another penny a pack for cigarettes starting Monday, as an annual adjustment in the state’s cigarette tax takes effect.

State law requires the cigarette sales tax to be adjusted each year to reflect inflation and current retail prices.

That means the sales tax will go up from 35 cents to 36 cents. The Department of Revenue announced the change earlier this year.

But that’s not the only tax the state levies on cigarettes.

There’s also a 48-cent excise tax and a 75-cent health impact fee.

Together, that puts the tax at $1.58 a pack. Make that $1.59 starting Monday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (72)
  1. Fast Freddie says:

    Everywhere we look taxes are swallowing us up alive.

    I’m sure some dingbat will say: ” It’s only a penny”

    Well if it’s only a penny then lower it a penny

  2. JustSayin says:

    In this case, it’s your very own choice to pay $1.59 in taxes for ONE pack of cigarettes……just plain dumb.

  3. Bruce Wayne says:

    Stop throwing your cigarette butts on the ground then.

    1. The Architect says:

      What I hate is driving down the road and the person driving ahead of me tosses his or her cigarette butt out the window, and the butt takes a hop, another hop, and then shoots straight up and off my windshield in a shower of flaming ash.

      Or else it catapults up and sticks in my grill or on my radiator to stink even further.

      Come on folks. Smoke if you gotta, but don’t throw your stinky butts right in my face and pretend it isn’t happening or that it isn’t rude.

      1. @architect says:

        Okay I’ve NEVER seen a butt bounce twice then hit my windshield. Nor have I ever seen one get stuck in the grill of someone’s car. You, ‘tect, are a lying a$$.

        1. Outdoorsman says:

          This has also happened to me countless times, including this morning on my way up Highway 61.

        2. The Architect says:

          You’ve NEVER seen a cigarette do the double bounce and shoot 6 feet into the air off the surface of the freeway after being pitched out a car window? Picture an onsides kick-off attempt in football. It takes those couple hops and then shoots up off one end and goes airborne. Never seen it, eh?

          I think it’s YOU who is a lying a$$, sir. A cantankerous one, at that!

          1. Bob says:

            Maybe YOU should be watching the road, NOT the BUTTS!!! Just sayin’

            1. The Architect says:

              What is that supposed to even mean, BOB?

              1. O-done-a says:

                I admire your creativity. It’s happened to me too and scrared the bajeeze out of me cuz I wasn’t probably paying that close attention. I do my best thinking when I drive. And NO–I’ve never had an accident. A+ for description.

  4. Karl says:

    Once again government hits the low income people under the guise of helping them. The only way to control government’s insatiable appetite for revenue is to get rid of all the fees, taxes, license fees, and tolls and replace with a flat tax. It would be a lot harder to increase government revenue when everybody gets hit. It might acually require real justification for an increase.

    1. The Architect says:

      Maybe poor people are poor because they spend $60 a week on cigarettes that they can’t afford in the first place…

      And if they’re poor, they’re more likely to drink too, is that also true? So they’re blowing their cash on cigs and booze and complain that they’re too poor to afford the price of their cigs and booze. A bit ironic if you think about it.

      1. Karl says:

        I don’t smoke and am not poor but because I pay taxes which goes to welfare which goes to buying cigs for the poor I am in fact paying this tax.

        1. Outdoorsman says:

          There are people with iPhones and Cadillac Escalades using welfare to buy steaks and lobsters and junk food. I watched a black woman with all of the above pay for her expensive food with EBT, and then get into a new Escalade double parked out front at Cub Foods.

          1. john0990 says:

            Sure you did. Was she also giving birth to a crack baby at the same time?

            1. Outdoorsman says:

              I’m not asking you, John. I’m telling you.

              I have no knowledge of any crack or any crack babies she may or may not have. But I did see her chatting in ebonics on her iPhone and paying for it all with EBT and getting into an Escalade. Period. Just because you didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Cub Foods in Cottage Grove, MN. I’m sure she’ll be there again.

              1. JamieinMN says:

                I believe you. I’ve seen it too, more than once.

            2. momof4inbuffalo says:

              to john0990
              I work at a grocery store and i see that all the time. wellfare people comming in and buying expensive food and then they go out into a $50,000 vehichle, also those people are the same people who have 5 other people in the house with ebt and each one of them is recieving 600 amonth on ebt not to mention the cash side. i dont drink i dont smoke and i am not on welfare. but my taxes are going to these people. dont get me wrong if u need it you need it, some people just know how to milk the system

          2. Swamp Fox says:

            If what you say is true then why didn’t you take pictures of the alleged brigands and turned them in? If not turned in to authorities then why not the I-Teams of the media? There are many deserving folks who need food assistance and get it due to budget cuts, their personal income levels, and just plain honesty! Otherwise, put-up the proof or stop editorializing on facts not germane to the issues!

            1. Outdoorsman says:

              Is that something you’d do? Take pictures of people in a Cub Foods and follow them into a parking lot to take a little video? Not my style, Mr. Swamp Fox.

            2. Jeffrey Samide says:

              Do you really think any media outlet in the cities is going to do a piece like this if it involves a person of “color”? I too have seen it and just shake my head in amazement. Time to clean house on entitlement programs and give real Minnesotans a break.

  5. givingupsmoking says:

    I am on my way of quitting smoking but I agree it is my choice to light up or not and I I would rather have cigarette taxes go up than something I really need. It is a choice so it is up to the person they can pay for it or not.

    1. The Architect says:

      “I am on my way of quitting smoking”

      I quit smoking some years back.

      Are you willing to describe what exactly it means to be “on your way of quitting”?

      1. @architect says:

        If you were as smart as you claim to be – it would make sense.

        1. The Architect says:

          I wasn’t criticizing him. I was asking him what his plan is, since it seems he’s gathering up the gumption to quit, but it doesn’t seem like he’s gone in both feet yet.
          Why are you so offended by my comments? I don’t think it’s worth getting so riled up by what I post, do you?

      2. JamieinMN says:

        I’m wondering the same thing…..
        You either HAVE quit or are still smoking. I don’t think you can be “on your way”.

        1. readthedirections says:

          if you were to read the directions on some of the quit smoking stuff, you’ll see that there is a “on the way” method of quitting by reducing the amount of cigs you smoke. Is it me or is everybody here out to attack one another, and if not another, the person reporting the stories? Come on people…

          1. Outdoorsman says:

            I do not believe people can quit smoking by cutting back on cigarettes. Never seen it work for anybody ever. I’m not saying it can’t, but I’ve never heard of that being a legitimate way to stop. This is not an attack on anybody or their struggle to stop smoking.

            But from my experience and what I’ve learned from others, you either decide you’re a non-smoker and don’t smoke anymore, or you’re not ready to decide you’re a non-smoker so you still smoke.

          2. JamieinMN says:

            Psssh whatever, that’s a joke and a half and it won’t ever work. I’m not out to “attack” anyone, I simply don’t believe that “on my way to quitting” for one second. The only way to quit is to QUIT. Sheesh, grow a pair.

  6. Randy says:

    Why do we pass laws that continually hurt people in the heart of MN? People in St. Paul that vote on everything can buy cheaper cigarettes in wisconsin, can buy beer in wisconsin on super bowl sunday, and can go to state parks and buy fishing licenses in wisconsin during the bi-annual govt. shutdown. Maybe we need to move the Capiltal to the middle of the state so they get a better feeling for the laws they constantly push through that they dodge.

    1. JustSayin says:

      FYI cigarettes cost more in WI now.

  7. Minny says:

    the heart of MN? that’s who smokes? well their hurting their own hearts then anyways! raise it a dollar quit fooling around…

    1. Lucifer says:

      Mind your own business Minny. Eventually they will tax the things that effect you life

        1. Randy says:

          They don’t and won’t tax abortions will they.

  8. Lucifer says:

    I don’t buy cigarettes by the pack anymore. I buy tobbacco in one pound bags and cigarette tubes and use my Premier Supermatic rolling machine to make cigarettes. I can roll a carton of cigarettes in about an hour and my cost is about $1.50 a pack.

    1. Joey Olson says:

      Makes sense. That tobacco is also more natural. Then you can go out and smoke 1 or two cigarettes instead of having to go to the store and buy 20. There are a lot of people that only smoke when going out on a Fri or Sat. then have to buy 20 when they only want one or two.

  9. MrB says:

    All you non-smokers should be grateful to all those who do smoke, afterall, if there were no smokers paying those extra fee’s, all your property taxes would be double what they are now……just say’n!

    1. Candice says:

      Oh thank you for smoking and sending our nations health costs over the top thanks so much so grateful to all those who smoke your just mostly smelly

      1. MrB says:

        Oh Candice, you are welcome. How about all the fat people, obesity is the #1 health cost in america, how about we ban vending machines and oh, how about restuarants having sections for fit people and a section for fat people, I shouldn’t have to sit next to some obese person while I’m eating, how disscusting is that!!

        1. Candice says:

          Totally agree!!

          1. Wake Up says:

            How about we ban children from restaurants because most are il behaved and cause the blood pressure to rise in most, which is also detrimental to our health, or how about we only allow 1 child per couple as doctor bills are really expensive for children, not to mention the cost of labor and delivery. We also need to ban bugs spray and growth hormones in our beef, chicken and milk, that also causes cancer.

        2. @MrB says:

          That situation might be about as “disscusting” as your spelling and grammar.

          1. MrB says:

            @no name coward!
            Oh I’m sorry, i hit the rong key on my puter thanks for being the “grammar” police you pathetic little tweet

  10. Dean says:

    Everybody with a brain knows that cigarette smoking is slow suicide, that it costs the public and private health systems tens of billions of dollars a year. As far as I’m concerned, the tax should be doubled.

    1. Outdoorsman says:

      What else should have its tax doubled, because it “isn’t good for us”?

    2. JamieinMN says:

      Better add alcohol and fast food to that list.

    3. SO SAD says:

      I have been smoking for over 30 years and not once have I gone to the doctor because of my smoking. If I went in with a broken toe, and because it says I smoke in my health records, they mark it down as such.

      1. archie says:

        So Sad

        Just to let you know why your medical file now has the dreAded red circle with a cigarette through identifying you as a “SMOKER”
        Here is how much that little scam cost taxpayers, 2.1Million dollars to an activist at the university of minnesot Harry Landros Grant request from the NCI for 2.1 million in cancer research grant funds was this. Harry believed the best time to attack smokers and their habit while they are in the hospital, Harry the freeloader and waster of cancer research funds got his grant and his victory to invade your private medical records, I betcha a lot of folks didn’t know that didja?

  11. MrB says:

    Doorknob Dean……Do you really think if it was that bad, smoking and for that matter alcohol too that our concerned goverment would do something about it??? Why won’t they?…’s called REVENUE……they can’t live without it!!!!

  12. me says:

    …To make people quit….jump up $1/pack in tax each year…..

    1. Outdoorsman says:

      It isn’t up to you or a law to “make” someone quit smoking.

    2. markH says:

      Is it the job or function of government to “make people quit”? What if Big Brother decides next year (and it isn’t that far-fetched and idea) to tax fattening foods because most Americans (and kids) are obese? What if that next Big Mac had a $.70 “health impact” fee (read:tax) slapped on the price? What if the Evangelical Alliance against alcohol convinced lawmakers that tight jeans contribute to teenage pregnancy? How would you feel about paying a 15% surcharge on your next pair of Levi’s just to satiate someone else’s idea of what is in society’s best interests? Your suggestion is the first glassy step up that proverbial “slippery slope.” Peace.

  13. justice fleeting says:

    How about a tax for lazy bums who don’t want to work and live off the State and Federal government. Well, not the government, but the tax payers. Let’s start imposing a non-use tax on these creeps. There are plenty of them around. Just take a drive or walk down University Avenue in St. Paul.

    1. Swamp Fox says:

      I hope you have a nice job and, without complaints, paying your fair share of taxes. You should be grateful you are working! Most of the unemployed/underemployed want to work and maintain some sort of “bread, work, & dignity” to their lives. When is the last time you had to look for work and found employers saying the “unemployed” need not apply? It’s happening all over MN and the US even with minimum wage jobs in certain locales.

      So don’t tell I am a lazy bum living off the state or Federal governments! Those so-called programs you allude to are mostly dried-up and gone or sliced-&-diced up like Social Security.

      Discrimination, of all sorts, permeate the job market like age, race, unemployed status, and personal job experience. So don’t pontificate about the unemployed You maybe the next “lazy bum” waiting in line at the local food shelve or homeless shelter!!!!

      1. SO SAD says:

        I don’t think justice was talking about the unemployed, but the people who are on welfare. They are the ones abusing the system, and the government is letting them.

        1. Swamp Fox says:

          Again, if you see what is probably an abusive and criminal affront to the assistance system turn the violators in! Don’t just stand bye and let it happen. Doing so costs all of us especially the taxpayers and those folks who honestly need assistance. Let the system abusers pay for their wanton disregard of society’s generosity. Turn them in like sportsmen and sportswomen turn in poachers. Need I say more?

    2. JT says:

      Really Justice…way to make a discerning comment! Did you consider some of those “unemployed on welfare” before you wrote that? Do you imagine that every unemployed person accessing the welfare system is lazy, no good, and shiftless? Did you stop to consider folks who CANNOT work like myself. I am on social security and trying to raise 2 kids on a fixed income. We get assistance because otherwise we do not eat, or go to the doctor, or pay the electricity bills. Thanks for lumping me in with the rest. Think before you speak, it will make you look like less of an ass.

      I don’t smoke so this tax has no impact on me directly. I DO however believe that the tax raise is a good thing. Taxes on things like cigarettes, alcohol, and junk food are entirely appropriate because they are luxury items.

  14. MrB says:

    To all you smokers and drinkers I would just like to say “thank you”, thank you for exercising your right to choose, soon all of our choices will be made by the gov for us, enjoy what rights you have left!

  15. Kevynn says:

    i think obamma shoud make smoaking illegal all together

  16. WIresident says:

    In WI we are seeing the start of a few new tobacco shops that cigarettes are $32.65 a carton. Best to pay with check or cash to save the $2.00 ATM fee. These shops have huge machines that roll out 200 cigarettes in eight minutes. It all starts by telling the clerk your favorite brand, he then tells you which tobaccos and how much to weigh out. You then take the measured tobacco to the machine, dump the tobacco in, place the filter tubes in the machine, and click to get the machine started. The cigarettes are dispensed into a tub, which you remove to an empty filter box. These shops are located in Eau Claire, Tomah, and Black River Falls. There is also one in Wausau, but has a different owner. We have been purchasing cigarettes locally for a few weeks now. None of the tobacco choices have chemicals added,and have ,little to no adapting to the flavors.You can get menthol , light or full flavors. MAYBE someone in MN should look into starting up a business like these mentioned.

  17. smoker says:

    Cheez! Ive been smoking for almost 55 years, and have NEVER been to the Dr with any ailment contributed to by smoking.My Mother and Father smoked all the way into their eighties with no problems either. Wonder if it isnt just good genes! As they say, we all have to die from something, no fun dyiing healthy. Drs will tell you we all have cancer,it just takes the right trigger to get it going. Do we know what some of those triggers may be, sure, but, do the same triggers affect all persons, no. There is genetic cancers also, do we blame those on smoking too? Not hardly. WE all make decisions that others dont approve with, nor pay the price for.. We all have a choice as to live one way or the other. Why do the do-gooders think they have the right to dictate to us how we should live, and do things or not, because they have ALL the answers!!

    1. Disgusted says:

      If Lady Luck will leaves you very soon regarding your smoking habits then don’t coming running to us non-smokers! We told you so!

      1. smoker says:

        Dont fret over it, Im quite capable of taking care of myself, are you? Ive had insurance all my life, paid my own way throughout life, and never took a dime that I didnt earn myself!

  18. Scott says:

    Most people know that smoking is not a good thing, but also knowing it is a life style for alot of Minnesotian or what every state a person is from. I always wonder why the first thing that our State Goverment talks about is to raise some tax money is to raise the cigarette taxes. I was wondering when they might start raising taxes on beer, wine, and any other alcoholic beverages? Lets just think about this, what if everyone in Minnesota quite smoking all at one time, look at the revenue that we would loose in that time, where is the State of Minnesota going to make that up.

  19. Only A Penny says:

    I’m sure some dingbat will say: ” It’s only a penny”
    ” It’s only a penny”
    ” It’s only a penny”
    ” It’s only a penny”
    ” It’s only a penny”
    ” It’s only a penny”
    ” It’s only a penny”
    ” It’s only a penny”
    ” It’s only a penny”

  20. archie says:

    To all Of our non smoking and non antismoking friends and of course you wonderful one million minnesotans that do NOT do serfology.

    Thank you for recognizing a full frontal attack on a minority of Minnesota Citizens.
    With full collusion of the minnesota legislature, the governor,and the public funded anti tobacco cartel I would like to talk about the collusion that took place when both plaintiffs and defendentants and the anti cartel gathered at the capitol to assist Republican tax chairman Ron Abrams present a statute called the Minnesots cigarette fair price act. State statute 235D.30 and up . To fix the price of tobacco products in minnesota
    This law colluded to allow tobacco defendentants to artificially raise tobacco prices to cover the cost of the compact for the next 25 years to a price that would guarantee the highest prices to protect the state, the defendentants, and the colluding repubs and dems. along with the indentured servatude to keep the anti cartel funded forever.
    The only part of this legislation that was missing was even a hint of representation offered to one million state smokers, the smokers were bulldozed abused , used and treated with contempt by the whole of the New Mafia style stat
    e and its enforcers.
    The new statute would direct the Mn Dept of Commerce to maintain a daily price established by the state tobacco mafia and to keep NON SIGNERS of the “siit down” from underselling the defendentants and cheating the taxman and the cartel out of tobacco excise taxes from sales.
    As we all know at least 17% of Minnesotans are no longer buying mafia tobacco and save from 40 to 42.00 a carton by not doing business with the mafia. The one cent is because the Special taxes division gave their mentors at clearway minnesota the new and scarce income of tobacco tax revenue. The Cartel MPAAT aka Clearway Minnesota issued a $1,000 press release to a private poster thAt stated the cartel had sucessfully dropped smoking in minnesota down to 16.9% The smoking rate in Minnesota has not varied from 24-25% in fifteen years.

    I suggest this mafia and their enforcers legislative enablers raise the tax per pack to $25.00 a pack, and drive the rest of the million smokers to find competetive and respectful sources. Why Play with One cent Tobacco Control? I ask citizens to look into this mendacious scam by the powerful and our media that is totally worthless and under the spell of the advertising money for anti smoking propaganda From the huge and always highly public funded Non profit Mafiso activists. check it out for your self, then ask “STENOGRAPHERS” like the AP where the journaistic objection has been for the last two decades. “Preciate”

    1. markH says:

      Well put. The fact is that government does not want people to actually quit smoking, it just wants another means of generating revenue. If the aforementioned intent was the goal, then the tobacco tax would be much, much higher than it is now (as if it wasn’t high enough already). The fact is that the government figured out just how much they can increase the tax on tobacco without suffering a reduction in revenues…because that would be counterintuitive to the actual goal of fattening the state coffers.

  21. archie says:

    Anti smokers and vulnerable serf’s

    Ewe have exactly the kind of government ewe deserve… Enjoy !

  22. Commonsense says:

    For those who say – don’t care doesn’t affect me. Well it has also been brought to the table to start taxing things that everyone uses, because it will bring in more revenue. They are talking about taxing clothing, food and a host of other things that aren’t currently taxed, so although right now it doesn’t affect you, please keep in mind as more smokers quit they will need to find additional revenue and where better to get it than from things everyone uses instead of a select few.

  23. jordanj says:

    Keep taxing them, when they become ill they will have no money to pay for health care and will be on Medicaid!

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