To help tackle the city of Chicago's pressing fiscal issues, one alderman is suggesting a 20 percent to 30 percent tax on smokeless tobacco.
Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) is pushing the idea, and says such a tax could mean $30 million in new revenue for the city.
Smokeless tobacco is not currently taxed by the city. Cigarettes, on the other hand, are taxed at $7.17 per pack in Chicago, the highest cigarette tax in the country.
Moreno noted that smokeless tobacco is "on the rise because it's so much more difficult to smoke anywhere and it's not cachet any more to smoke. Plus, it's costly. It's $12 or $13 [for a pack of cigarettes]. You can get this for $5."
"We always go to the cigarette and alcohol tax," the alderman added, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. "We go back to it and back to it and back to it. And these [smokeless] products sit on the shelf, and we don't even touch 'em."