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updated: 3/1/2013 4:32 PM

Cigarettes now $1 more per pack in Cook County

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  • Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says higher cigarette taxes will help lower smoking rates, including by discouraging people from starting.

      Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says higher cigarette taxes will help lower smoking rates, including by discouraging people from starting.
    Associated Press file photo

 
Associated Press

Taxes on cigarettes sold in Cook County have gone up by $1 a pack.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the tax, which took effect Friday, is expected to generate more than $25 million annually for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

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She says higher taxes also will help lower smoking rates, including by discouraging people from starting.

Cook County's Department of Public Health will begin an anti-smoking campaign later this month aimed at youth. It will include television advertising and placards on buses and at bus shelters.

Anti-smoking activists say Chicago is now the second-most expensive place in the nation to buy cigarettes, behind New York City.

Preckwinkle says the county revenue department will hire more staff to help stop tobacco smuggling and tax evasion.

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