By Andrea K. Walker
6:00 a.m. EDT, October 24, 2012

A tax increase on small cigars and other tobacco products popular with teenagers has resulted in a bump in the prices of these
products just as health advocates had hoped.

The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition will release a study today showing that prices have increased since the tax went into affect July 1. For instance, a single Swisher Sweets flavored cigar cost $1.29 before the tax and now costs $1.69.  A 5-pack of Swisher Sweets cost $5.49 before the tax and now costs $7.99.

The study was conducted for the Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition by the University of Maryland School of Law Legal Resource Center.

Health advocates hope the cigars will become too expensive for teenagers to buy.

While cigarette use has decreased over the years, the use of little cigars and other products have increased. Health advocates say tobacco companies market to kids with fruity flavors and colorful packaging.

In 2011, state health officials used federal stimulus money to launch an education campaign targeting kids who smoke little cigars.

Health advocates will release the price report today at an event at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School in Baltimore.

Last modified: October 24, 2012