With less than two days left until the price of cigarettes goes up $0.75 per pack, retailers and distributors say business is booming now, but it probably won't be in a few days. Tom Majeske, Manager of Smokey Joe's II, says his business has increased 40 percent in the last four days, but he doesn't expect it to continue.
Bill Burgess, General Manager of Heartland Distributors, is bracing for the upcoming increase just as his 1,100 customers, the retailers, are. Burgess says he's seen more bounced checks in the last two years than in 20 combined, a direct link he says to the last cigarette tax increase. Now with another about to hit, what happens next?
Retailers don't have the answer; they just hope customers continue to come in after the increase takes effect Thursday.