Massachusetts’ reputation as a tax-heavy state could get a bit of a reprieve if a recently introduced bill to cap the tax on premium cigars finds favor in the state legislature.

State Sen. Michael O. Moore, D-Second Worcester, has introduced S.D.171, which seeks to modify the current taxation rates of electronic smoking devices, cigars and smoking tobacco. In the case of premium cigars, Moore’s bill would place a cap of 50 cents per cigar on the state’s tax rate of 40% of the wholesale price.

In practical terms, the change would mean that a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 would go from costing $13.30 to $10.50 by halfwheel estimates and before local taxes.

Moore’s bill also seeks to place electronic smoking liquid under the state’s current tax structure, meaning it would be subject to being taxed at 40% of the wholesale price.

The bill has already gained the co-sponsorship of State Sen. Michael J. Rodrigues, D-First Bristol and Plymouth.

The item has not yet been scheduled for any legislative action.

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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, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.