Cigarette Price Go Up Again
Within the next week, cigarette smokers will find it even more expensive to light up, as the 62-cent increase in the federal excise tax on cigarettes takes effect.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. today said that it will raise the list price on its cigarette brands in the range of 41 cents to 78 cents a pack for wholesale customers. The increase goes into effect March 16.
The cost of a pack of Camel, Kool, Winston and Salem is going up 44 cents, while Pall Mall, Doral and Capri are going up 41 cents, said David Howard, a spokesman for Reynolds, on Friday.
The manufacturer's nonsupport brands are increasing between 71 cents and 78 cents a pack.
On Monday, Altria Group Inc. is raising the list price for brands that include Marlboro, Virginia Slims and Parliament by $7.10 a carton, and the list price for brands that include Benson & Hedges, Chesterfield and Merit by $8.07 a carton. A carton has 10 packs.
Lorillard Tobacco Co. also is increasing its list price for its brands by $7.10 a carton, according to Pat Shehan, the owner of Tarheel Tobacco in Winston-Salem.
Besides the list-price increase, Reynolds also is reducing its discount rate at retail.
The price hikes by the manufacturers had been expected by analysts and consumers ever since Congress passed the increase in the federal excise tax on cigarettes to pay for expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Anti-smoking groups hailed the approval of the SCHIP program in part because analysts estimate that cigarette sales will decline by as much as 8 percent as a result of the tax increase.
So for all those who promised, "once cigarettes hit $6 a pack, I'll quit," your time has come.