Maryland cigar smokers can expect to start paying higher taxes almost immediately. Anti-smoking groups finally won out in a measure to increase the tax on cigars, typically taxed more leniently than cigarettes, by nearly four times the regular amount. While this will certainly mean more money for the state, it is a serious blow to cigar smokers.
To make matters worse, the anti-smoking groups that lobbied so hard for this tax increase bluntly stated that it was not even about making more money for the state: it was about getting people to not smoke in the first place. This is one of the few times when any ulterior motive there could have been was bluntly acknowledged by those who would seek to increase tobacco taxes. They have stated that they hope it prevents children from even seeing people smoke, which is a ridiculous form of over-protection. Many however feel that the taxation simply to deter smoking is insulting and only adds to the belief that smokers are being the targets of a wide social stigma that paints them as “bad people”. It’s especially ridiculous when one considers just how unappealing today’s youth finds tobacco products.