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Puff, Puff, Tax: Maryland’s New Tobacco Taxes Explained


On May 16, 2024, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed into law the 2024 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act. This act, effective immediately, introduces several changes to tobacco taxes, designed to fill state coffers and perhaps make you think twice about your smoking habits. From hiking excise taxes on cigarettes to raising the sales tax on e-cigarette devices, this bill packs a punch. Here’s a humorous yet informative dive into what these changes mean for you.

Cigarettes: A Pricier Puff

Governor Wes Moore’s new legislation hits cigarette smokers right in the wallet. The excise tax on cigarettes is going up. Yes, you heard that right—your morning coffee and smoke combo is about to get more expensive. So, what exactly does this mean for the average smoker? Well, besides potentially helping you kick the habit for financial reasons, this tax hike aims to deter smoking and raise funds for the state. It’s a classic win-win, unless you’re a cigarette enthusiast.

But let’s look at the bright side. Higher prices might just be the nudge needed to join the ranks of ex-smokers. Plus, imagine all the extra cash you’ll have for things like avocado toast and artisanal coffee. And if you’re one of those smokers who’s thinking, “I’ll just switch to cigars or pipes,” we have some news for you—stay tuned.

E-Cigarettes: The New Frontier of Taxes

For those who’ve moved on from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes, thinking they’ve outsmarted the taxman, think again. The 2024 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act has cast its net wider. The sales tax rate and use tax rate on e-cigarette devices, including e-cigarette oil sold in containers with more than 5 ml, are set to increase. So, if you’re puffing on a sleek, modern device with a large oil container, expect to pay more.

This change is part of a broader effort to regulate and tax newer tobacco products similarly to traditional ones. It’s a clear message: no matter what you’re smoking, the state wants its share. But hey, look on the bright side—you can now feel a bit more retro and stick to those tiny 5 ml containers, which remain untouched by the new taxes.

Cigar and Pipe Aficionados: You’re Safe, For Now

If you’re a cigar or pipe smoker, you might be tempted to gloat right now. While cigarettes and e-cigarettes are taking the brunt of the new taxes, your chosen form of tobacco consumption remains unscathed. That’s right, the tax on cigars and pipes isn’t changing. So, feel free to continue enjoying your sophisticated habit, whether you’re in a leather chair at a gentleman’s club or pretending to be Sherlock Holmes.

However, don’t get too comfortable. While you’re not facing a tax hike this time, the winds of change are always blowing. It’s possible that cigars and pipes might be next on the tax agenda. So, while you’re safe for now, it might be wise to stay informed and perhaps start budgeting for future changes.

The Impact on Maryland’s Economy

Now, let’s talk about why all these changes are happening. The primary goal of the 2024 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act is to boost state revenue. By increasing taxes on tobacco products, Maryland aims to fill its budget gaps and fund public services. This isn’t just about making life harder for smokers; it’s about ensuring the state has the resources it needs to function effectively.

Increased taxes can lead to decreased consumption, which in turn can reduce healthcare costs associated with smoking-related illnesses. This is a long-term benefit that can save the state money. Moreover, the additional revenue can be used for various public projects, improving infrastructure, education, and more. So, while it might sting to pay more for your tobacco products, remember that it’s all in the name of a better, healthier, and more financially stable Maryland.


On May 16, 2024, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed the 2024 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, which introduces several new taxes on tobacco products. According to WBALTV, the bill increases the excise tax on cigarettes and raises the sales and use tax rates on e-cigarette devices, including those containing more than 5 ml of e-cigarette oil. However, taxes on cigars, pipes, and containers with 5 ml or less of e-cigarette oil remain unchanged. These measures aim to boost state revenue and potentially reduce smoking rates by making tobacco products more expensive. This new legislation reflects Maryland’s ongoing efforts to improve public health and financial stability. Stay tuned for more updates on this news.


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