Missouri Tobacco Dealers Eye Cross-Border Customers

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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Illinois’ new chief doctor says that charging more for cigarettes would be good for public health.

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says he believes a one-dollar tax increase on a pack of cigarettes would help prevent chronic disease.

Governor Quinn has proposed the measure. He appointed Hasbrouck to head the health department last month.

Spokesmen for the Illinois tobacco industry say a tax increase would only drive Illinois smokers to Missouri to buy cigarettes. The Missouri tax is 17-cents a pack, the lowest in the nation.

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