New cigarette tax hike to affect LI smokers

New York lawmakers approved a $1.60 tax increase on cigarettes yesterday and Long Island smokers are already sounding off about it.

Opponents say the hike will drive New Yorkers to buy their cigarettes elsewhere and help fuel illegal sales.

Some non-smoking residents say they think the hike may benefit people in the long run, if it helps some quit the habit.

The tax hike was included in the state legislatures newest emergency spending bill to close a $9 billion budget gap.

The state says the tax hike could potentially generate up to $440 million in revenue.

State lawmakers also approved raising taxes on chewing tobacco, cigars, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products.

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