PEORIA - John Brahmham says he's on his last puffs, and while he's not ready to kick the habit, he's forced to quit. " I just went to the doctor to get Chantix to try and quit because I can't even afford it anymore," Bramham said. That's due to a 62 cent federal increase on cigarettes, on top of a 98 cent state tax. So at more the five dollars a pack, Smoker's Paradise owner Heath Jaber feels the tax is an assault on smokers, and his livelihood. " I don't know if I'm going to be i business for much longer," Jaber said. " I don't know where the future lies for me." The biggest hike is on loose tobacco, which went up from one dollar to more than 26 dollars a pound: a huge put out for those who roll to save money. Steve Regan has smoked for 22 years. "They're suppose to be cheaper now the price of the cheap ones are almost the same price of the regular pack," he said. Smoker's Paradise owner Heath Jaber said," It's not an increase it's a crime at this point you know if something reasonable like 3, 4, 5 dollars it would have made sense." Cents that he'll miss ringing up, especially since Illinois lawmakers are looking to raise the tax another dollar over the next two years. "We have no time to even take a breath to even relax you know? Feels like you're being attacked from every direction, Jaber said. "What happens when ppl quit or this tax doesn't go through? What's the next thing to be taxed? Is it going to be our groceries, our property tax? I mean, then what? Where's the limit on this?"
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