States Look To Tobacco Tax To Balance The Budget

04/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mississippi's tax on cigarettes, at 18 cents a pack the nation's third-lowest, has not been raised since 1985. Gov. Haley Barbour, a former tobacco lobbyist, has long opposed an increase.

But this year, state lawmakers have gone from giving little thought to a tobacco tax increase to arguing over how much the tax should go up and where the money should go.

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