Iowa towns bordering Minnesota see slight uptick in cigarette sales

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Northern Iowa convenience shops are seeing a slight uptick in sales in the wake of the state of Minnesota boosting its $1.60 per-pack tax on July 1, the Albert Lea Tribune reports.

The tax increase has driven the average price per pack in Minnesota up to about $7.50 per pack.

As a result, Fallgatter's Market in Northwood, Iowa, store has seen cigarette sales go up between $600 to $900 a week since the new Minnesota cigarette tax went into effect. The lead daytime cashier at the store said she has gone from ordering 40 to 45 cartons twice a week to 60 to 65 cartons.

According to The Associated Press, Iowa's cigarette tax is $1.36 per pack, half of the $2.83 in taxes the state of Minnesota charges. As for the other states that border Minnesota, Wisconsin has a $2.52 per pack tax, while South Dakota charges $1.53 tax per pack and South Dakota 44 cents.

While the state of Minnesota hopes to discourage smoking with the new tax, it also hopes to boost revenue.

State analysts projected Minnesota would generate about $200 million more for state coffers per year.

Since July 1, QuitPlan Minnesota, as well as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota have seen a spike in the number of smokers trying to quit.

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