Cigarette Tax Increases by $1 in Cook County Beginning March 1

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    Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the tax would be a "modest" revenue generator for the county, instead classifying the hike as a public health initiative. (Published Friday, March 1, 2013)

    Smokers, prepare to pay more or work on kicking the habit. The tax for a pack of cigarettes in Cook County goes up Friday.

    An additional $1 will be added to every pack sold in the county, bringing the total tax on cigarettes to nearly $7 in Chicago and just under $6 in suburban Cook County.

    "It will bring in needed revenue to our public health system while lowering smoking rates and preventing people from picking up the deadly habit," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Thursday.

    The projected $25 million in annual new revenue will go to county hospitals and health centers.

    The county's last cigarette tax hike was in 2006.