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Smokers continue coughing up extra change after tax hike


HELENA - Montana's month-old tobacco tax increase gave retailers early headaches and sparked complaints from surprised customers, but hasn't kept smokers from lighting up, tobacco dealers said.

And although some say they're still wary of increases in smuggling and illegal Internet sales, state officials aren't particularly concerned about a rise in bootlegging.

The state tax on a pack of cigarettes jumped from 18 cents to 70 cents on May 1, just hours after Gov. Judy Martz signed it into law.

Besides cigarettes, the tax on chewing tobacco increased to 35 cents per ounce and the tax rate on...

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