Up to $8 per pack of cigarettes starting April 1

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Federal tax on all tobacco products

PHOENIX - Smokers are fuming, retailers are worried and health advocates are overjoyed thanks to a federal tobacco tax lighting a fire under just about everyone.

It is a move that will affect some 60 million cigarette smokers, cigar lovers and pipe users in America.

In these tough economic times the tax increase will make lighting up a pricey habit. Cigarette packs will be running smokers about $8 due to a new federal tax which takes effect on Wednesday.

Cigarette dealers are saying there may not be that large of price increase because in anticipation of the tax, three weeks ago tobacco companies raised prices by about 71 cents a pack. Critics claim it is price gouging but the tobacco industry defends its actions saying it was applying the tax early to get smokers used to the higher prices. Either way, a smoker will not know how much a pack of cigarettes will cost until Wednesday.