Missouri has lowest cigarette tax in the country

By Tyler Profilet

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Dr. Ben Adkins in Poplar Bluff says the 17 cent tax on each pack of cigarettes isn't enough to deter people from smoking.

But he says, he's not sure any amount of tax can keep people from lighting up.

"I feel like if they're going to smoke, they're going to smoke. The point is if it will knock out a pack of week for someone, great," he said.

Adkins feels the low tax rate contributes to more smokers, and thus more lung cancer.

According to the Center for Disease Control, Missouri ranks in the top 15 among states in rates of lung cancer.

Missouri's tax is 43 cents lower than Kentucky, which is the next closest of the border states.

Iowa's is the highest, well over a dollar more per pack.

Cashiers at Kerr's Express in Poplar Bluff say they have customers drive in from out of state to take advantage of the low tax rate.

"Every once in a while they'll mention that our taxes are lower, or that they're passing through and they heard we had the lower prices," said cashier Linda Bradish.

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