Broward News

Cigarette Smokers Burned By New Tax; Cigar Aficionados Blow Celebratory Rings

Pat Macabi, owner of Macabi Cigar Bar in Fort Lauderdale, has mixed feelings on the new laws.

While Macabi is pleased cigars aren't being taxed like "dirty cigarettes," he says the system is too convoluted and confusing for retailers.

"But they're right not to tax cigar smokers as much," he told me. "A cigar smoker doesn't smoke all the time, as much as cigarettes, and he wouldn't stop just because of a tax if he loves cigars. It would just hurt us all."

A Quinnipiac University poll published in January showed Florida voters favored this exact tax increase.

Interestingly enough, when I asked a few people buying cigarettes at a gas station last night what they thought of the new tax, several people told me they'd probably start buying smokes by the carton--to try to save money in volume.

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Michael J. Mooney