‘It's going to put us out of business’: Smoke shops in pinch following tobacco tax hike
The only tax hike in the Nova Scotia government’s provincial budget is leaving tobacco shop owners and smokers in a financial crunch.
The tobacco tax will increase by two cents a cigarette or 50 cents a pack. As for cigars, the tax rate will increase by 4 per cent.
Tobacco shop owner Craig Sievert says this could be the nail in his shop’s coffin.
"It's a big increase,” said Sievert. “It's going to put us out of business."
Sievert says he didn't think he'd see an increase in the budget, saying prices are high enough and customers aren't willing to pay more.
"I've been fed up with this for years and I've told everybody I'm getting out of (the business),” said Sievert. “It just makes it a little easier to decide to get out of it."
But some smokers say there's no right answer when it comes to taxing tobacco products.
"Money has to come from somewhere, and cigarette smoking it not necessarily a need,” said smoker Dara Taylor. “It would make sense for that to go up instead of putting taxes on food or things that we need to survive.”
Although, Sievert says smokers are targeted every budget.
“Every time you turn around, they’re looking for more money,” he said. “I really think it’s time that something’s done besides picking on the smokers.”
The tobacco tax increase will go into effect on Wednesday.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Amanda Debison.