A new law in Florida is being considered by lawmakers that would increase cigarette taxes to $10 per pack.
The bill passed the state Senate on Tuesday and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, with the legislation heading to Gov.
Rick Scott’s desk for his signature.
The measure is expected to increase taxes on cigarettes in the state by about $1 billion over five years.
Currently, cigarette taxes are set at about $5 per pack for cigarettes, but the bill would increase them to $1 per pack and then increase them further to $5.25 per pack in 2018.
The law also would require all businesses selling cigarettes to offer smokers a free pack of cigarettes.
The legislation also would create a tax credit for people who purchase a pack of 30 cigarettes, a credit for those who purchase 10 packs of cigarettes, and a credit of $100 for individuals who purchase five packs of 20 cigarettes.
The bill also would provide a tax break for people in retirement who are eligible for the federal health insurance tax credit.
“This is a tax cut that has a lot of bipartisan support,” said Sen. Mike Fasano, R-Covington, the sponsor of the bill.
“We’ve got the bipartisan support of both houses of the Legislature, and the governor is in favor of this tax increase.
He is going to sign it.”
The bill is the latest in a series of changes that have been pushed by the tobacco industry in recent years to make it more difficult for smokers to quit.