Proposed budget includes tobacco tax increase

Part of the proposed 2014 budget is a tobacco tax increase.

President Barack Obama revealed his plans for the budget for the 2014 fiscal year this past week. Those plans include a tax increase that would nearly double the federal tobacco tax to $1.95 per pack.

Over the course of a decade, the tax would raise about $78 billion. Obama said this money would go toward programs for preschool education for low- and middle-income families.

At We B Smokin' in Jefferson City, Denise Shaldone agreed that pre-school education is a worthy cause, but thinks there are other ways to raise the money.

"We don't mind to pay our extra tax when due but there are also other things that could be taxed. Food, alcohol, you know, other things," Shaldone said.

She also said that raising the tax would in turn raise the overall price of tobacco products, affecting the amount of products people purchase and therefore affecting her business.

"If we had a loss in consumers then of course we would have a loss of business," she said.

Customers at We B Smokin' also didn't seem keen on the proposed tax increase.

"It's outrageous, it's ridiculous, why spend so much money?" Jefferson City resident David Martin said.

John Monore, also of Jefferson City, echoed a similar sentiment.

"I think it sucks. The economy is bad, it's hard enough for people to get jobs, and I think it's not fair," Monore said.

When asked how the tax, if passed, would affect their desire to purchase tobacco products, both said they would consider quitting.

When asked whether quitting could be a good thing for them, both said yes because it would improve their health.