Tax Increase Could Cost Smokers $275 a Month

If you live in New York and you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, your unhealthy habit could cost you roughly the same amount as a car payment each month.

A new 62-cent federal excise tax increase would push the average price of a single pack to about $9, according to a story on

City health leaders said the move could actually be good for your health; they estimated that 20,000 adult smokers will kick the habit, according to the report.

"Now is the time to quit," Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden told "Smoking is hurting your health and your wallet. For the many New Yorkers looking to save money during these tough times, this is a great way to do it."

Health and Hospitals Corp. locations will offer free nicotine patches to those thinking about quitting. You can also call 311 in New York for other helpful information.

Previous price increases have helped cause a drop in local smokers, the marketwatch report said. Statistics show there are 300,000 fewer adult smokers now than there were seven years ago. Also, in roughly the same time frame, smoking has been cut by about half among high-school students, according to the report.

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