Smokers Upset About Proposed Cigarette Tax Hike - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Smokers Upset About Proposed Cigarette Tax Hike

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Under Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's plan to stabilize that state's medicaid program, cigarette taxes would go up one dollar.

"This is not a good idea for right now," Amir Rasheed, owner of a BP Station in Rock Island, IL, told KWQC.

Rasheed says cigarette sales account for 40 percent of his business and he fears smokers would make the short drive to Iowa if the tax increase goes through.

"Who would want to pay a dollar more for cigarette in Illinois. You know you can go and get them cheaper in Iowa. Everybody is going to Iowa to buy gas in Iowa, everybody would want to buy a cigarettes there too," Rasheed says.

Smokers tend to agree with Rasheed's theory.

"There's not doubt in my mind I would try to go to Iowa," Jeff Stanley told KWQC. 

Area health groups are encouraged by the news believing it could result in an decrease in smoking overall.

State Rep. Rich Morthland told KWQC he is skeptical of its passage - telling KWQC that cigarette revenue is too uncertain.