SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) - Last week, the state legislature approved a five-year transportation bill that would raise $500 million in new taxes.
Most of that will come from higher taxes on cigarettes. Legislators are proposing a $1 per-pack hike in cigarette taxes, and the World Health Organization says it's the right approach.
The agency's most recent report says higher cigarette taxes will help smokers kick the habit, and local residents agree.
Erik Abdow of Amherst told 22News, "I agree with that. I think smoking is an addictive habit that kills a lot of people. If the taxes are higher it could slow people down."
Abena Mensah said "I think it's one approach to it because right now the economy is really hard and people don't have that much money to waste. That's definitely a good approach to start with."
The bill is still awaiting Governor Deval Patrick's approval. However, the governor has expressed he would not support the measure saying the proposal is $300 million short than what's needed to fix the state's transportation system.