Cigar smokers in New Jersey could be facing a significant price hike at the register, as a bill introduced in both houses of the state legislature is seeking to triple the Garden State’s tobacco tax.

A1815 and S284 seek to increase the tax on other tobacco products—which include cigars—from 30 percent of the wholesale price to 90 percent. The tax on moist snuff would also be tripled, though it is computed on a fixed rate, with the bill calling for an increase from 75 cents per ounce to $2.25.

Additionally, the bill calls for a floor tax on tobacco products—excluding cigarettes—and moist snuff at the close of business on the last day of the first month following the date of enactment. That rate has not yet been written into the bill.

The bills seek to bring the taxes levied on other tobacco products in line with that levied on cigarettes, which is currently $2.70 per pack. Money raised from the increase would go to the Department of Health’s “Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation Fund,” which funds smoking and tobacco use cessation programs in the state.

Should the proposal be approved, it would take effect immediately and apply to tobacco products and moist snuff sold on or after the first day of the second month after the date of enactment.

The senate’s version has been referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, while the assembly’s has yet to be formally introduced.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.