An increase to the tobacco tax in South Dakota that would be used to make the state’s four technical colleges more affordable for residents to attend has been rejected by voters, with 55 percent voting against the proposal.

Initiated Measure 25 proposed an increase on the tax on cigarettes from $1.53 per pack of 20 cigarettes to $2.53, while also increasing the tax on other tobacco products such as premium cigars from 35 to 55 percent of the wholesale price. For a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50 that currently sells for $12.83 before sales taxes, the proposal would have increased it to $14.73, by halfwheel estimates.

Voters in Montana also rejected a tobacco tax increase on their ballot this year.

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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.