Minnesota’s tax on cigarettes would increase a dollar-50 per pack, the tax break on premium cigars would end, and e-cigarette devices would be taxed as tobacco products — under a bill moving forward in the Minnesota House. Glencoe Republican Glenn Gruenhagen says he understands the goal of discouraging smoking, particularly by youth, but wonders about unintended consequences:

“Underground sale of these cigarettes, pushing people to go other states, maybe then ordering online.”

Backers of the bill say there’s no evidence that will happen. Molly Moilanen with Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation adds:

“We have mountains of evidence that show that increasing the price of cigarettes encourages smokers to quit and prevents youth from ever starting.”