Washington, D.C. – With the recent passage of Hawaii Republican Gov. Linda Lingle’s veto deadline, the cigarette tax increase that will add 20 cents per pack each of the next 6 years is set to be imposed.

Although the governor did not sign the bill, she refused to issue a veto and allowed the tax increase to become law.

Starting in September, cigarette users will be forced to pay an additional 1 cent per cigarette each year until 2011.

Due to flawed language, the tax hike, which sponsor Sen. Roz Baker (D-Maui) claimed would help fund a cancer center, only one cent total (not per cigarette) of this tax hike will be directed to the center, with the majority of the revenue flowing into the state’s general fund.

“It is disappointing that Gov. Lingle chose, for the third time, to break her pledge to oppose and veto all tax increases,

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards.