The proposal to add tack on a 94-cent tax to each pack of cigarettes is one of the more hot-button issues coming out of Gov. Mark Dayton's budget proposal, and FOX 9 News spoke with an advocate for and against the plan.
Tom Horner, a former gubernatorial candidate who campaigned to raise the cigarette tax, and Phil Krinkie, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, shared their opinions on the issue.
Watch the video for more information.
The proposal would bring the total tax per pack to $2.52, bringing it in line with Wisconsin. In 2011, the cigarette tax raised nearly $300 million for the state, but the increase could bring that number to $500 million.
Many have argued that the tax targets a specific group of people who have a real addiction, many of whom are in the lower or middle classes.
In the past, and when he was a candidate for governor, Dayton was not supportive of a cigarette tax because he says it's one of the most regressive taxes. He says he changed his mind because he says that viewpoint is outweighed by the fact that increasing cigarette taxes has been shown to reduce the number of people who smoke.
According to the American Cancer Society, youth smoking rates drop by 6.5 percent for every 10 percent increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes.
Yet, a big problem in states where the tax keeps going up is that people find other ways to get their smokes. People will go to Indian reservations, people will cross the border to neighboring states or buy their cigarettes on the black market from smugglers.