It is an issue that sparks passionate debate on both sides. Raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes is part of Governor Quinn's plan to get Medicaid spending under control. GOP lawmakers have spoken out against the tax increase.
Tobacco Tax Expert, Doctor Frank Chloupka, says increasing the cigarette tax in Illinois will be an all around win for the state.
Chloupka says the state spends more than five-billion dollars a year treating tobacco-related illnesses. 1.8- billion of that comes out of the Medicaid system. He says a cigarette tax increase will keep more than 77,000 kids from ever smoking and more than 60,000 adults will stop smoking.