Smokers to cough up more for cigarettes

With the federal excise tax on cigarettes going into effect Wednesday, some smokers in Connecticut say they are ready to re-evaluate their lifestyles.Only 40 percent

NORWALK - With the federal excise tax on cigarettes going into effect Wednesday, some smokers in Connecticut say they are ready to re-evaluate their lifestyles.

Only 40 percent of the price of a pack goes to the tobacco company, while the other 60 percent goes to state and federal governments. The latest tax hike increases the price of a pack by nearly 62 cents to $1.01.

"I think this was it. Today was the last pack," says Nichole Kelly, of Westport. "I'm going to try cold turkey first, and if I can't do that, maybe a patch."

Beverly Jacoby, who leads smoking cessation classes at Norwalk Hospital, says she anticipates that higher taxes on cigarettes will increase her class size.

"Cold turkey is wonderful if you can do it that way, but for some people, because it truly is an addiction, there is a lot of preparation and thought that has to go behind it," she says.

However, not all smokers are ready to stomp out their habit. Gary Lico, of Riverside, says paying 35 cents more per cigar will not stop him.

"It's not like I'm throwing money around," he says. "But it's not just a smoke. It's an experience."

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