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News: Senator Dick Durbin Introduces Cigar Tax Hike Legislation

14 May 2012

Last week Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation that would increase federal taxes on premium cigars. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are co-sponsoring the bill.

The goal of the legislation, as stated by the senators, is threefold: to bring all tobacco products in line with the relatively higher taxes that are levied on cigarettes, to discourage the use of tobacco products by minors, and to increase government revenue. “The current loopholes in the taxes on tobacco products encourage the use of products like pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and ‘nicotine candies’ as a cheap source of tobacco, particularly among young people,” Durbin said in a statement. “This bill will stop tobacco manufacturers from gaming the system and protect more children and teens from this dangerous habit.”

It is also expected to boost government coffers by $1 billion.

Additionally, the senators aim to make it more costly to purchase premium cigars. Durbin’s so-called “Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2012” would raise the per-cigar tax ceiling on large cigars over 150%, from 40.26 cents to 100.66 cents. It would also establish a per-cigar tax floor at 5.033 cents. This move comes only days after Durbin and Lautenberg publicly encouraged the FDA to regulate cigars and ban “flavored” cigars outright.

Senator Durbin and his cohorts do not have the courage to say that they’d like to regulate and tax cigars out of existence, but that seems to be the outcome they’re shooting for. Cigars are already taxed quite high, especially when you add up the federal, state, and local taxes. And we’ve written before that regulation of cigars by the FDA would be devastating to the industry, which helps provide 85,000 jobs in the U.S. and hundreds of thousands in Latin America. Ingredient disclosure, testing, and marketing restrictions would stifle the development of new cigar blends and eliminate events where cigar makers pass out free samples to cigar shop patrons.

Be sure to take a few moments to effectively contact your senators and urge them to not support the Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2012.

Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

Drew Estate

6 Responses to “News: Senator Dick Durbin Introduces Cigar Tax Hike Legislation”

  1. Mike Monday, May 14, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Thankfully, this bill is unlikely to go anywhere in either chamber, especially in an election year. Similar other bills proposed in the last year since the loophole was discovered have been parked in committee.

  2. Swede214 Monday, May 14, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Thanks Mike for that info,glad to here this news, hope it stays ''parked in committee''.

  3. Hee Lichtenwalner Friday, July 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I will also like to say that most of those that find themselves without the need of health insurance are normally students, self-employed and people who are not working. More than half from the uninsured are really under the age of Thirty five. They do not feel they are in need of health insurance because they’re young in addition to healthy. The income is normally spent on real estate, food, plus entertainment. Most people that do work either full or not professional are not offered insurance by way of their jobs so they proceed without because of the rising tariff of health insurance in the us. Thanks for the suggestions you share through this web site.

  4. Ascended human Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    Yeah just what we need more taxes because they aren't already high enough on tobacco especially cigars.

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    […] News: Senator Dick Durbin Introduces Cigar Tax Hike Legislation The goal of the legislation, as stated by the senators, is threefold: to bring all tobacco products in line with the relatively higher taxes that are levied on cigarettes, to discourage the use of tobacco products by minors, and to increase government … Read more on Stogie Guys Online Cigar Magazine […]