Customers buy up cigarettes before massive tax hike

9:12 PM, Jun 26, 2013   |    comments
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COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. - Get 'em before they go up. That seems to be the mantra for customers at Sarah's Tobacco Shoppe in Columbia Heights.

"Just last week I sold someone ten cartons," said store manager Mazen Hammad. "People are talking and are finding out the increase is coming."

Beginning Monday, a pack will cost around seven dollars, higher depending on the brand. That's $2.83 in taxes on every pack, one of the highest rates in the country.

On Wednesday, someone bought 60 cartons of cigarettes at Sarah's Tobacco Shoppe.

Store management isn't sure how the tax hike will affect business, but they're not waiting around.

"We want to introduce customers to e-cigarettes," says Hammad. "They're less expensive and have less chemicals."

The store introduced e-cigarettes three months ago and have seen many smokers make the switch.

 

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