After a pair of bills to raise tobacco taxes failed to get out of committee in the Mississippi House of Representatives last year, the same sponsor is back with another bill seeking the same increase in 2015.

House Bill 80, introduced by Rep. Bob Evans (D-91), seeks to increase the tax on cigars, cheroots, stogies, snuff, chewing, smoking tobacco and all other tobacco products except cigarettes from 15 to 22.5 percent of the manufacturer’s suggested price.

The bill currently sits with the House Ways and Means Committee. Should it eventually pass as written, the change would go into effect on July 1.

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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.