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Smoking Wars Continue

April 24th, 2009 by flanews

More than a hundred employees from Miami Cigarette-maker Dosal rallied at the state capitol today. The workers protested a plan to force Dosal to pay the same taxes levied against bigger cigarette companies in the 1997 tobacco settlement. Dosal CEO Yolanda Nader said adding the tax could force her company to shut down.

“They are here. They are worried about their jobs. Some of these people have been with this company for 20, 25 years. They are very concerned. Where are they going to go. Never mind in a normal economy, what about today’s economy. That’s why we though it was important to take our message to the legislature,” said Nader.

Bud Chiles, son of former Governor Lawton Chiles, who championed the tobacco settlement says Dosal should pay. Chiles says Dosal has thrived since the big tobacco was forced to pay more.

“They were left out of the settlement. They were able to increase their market share from two percent to 20 percent. They’re selling cigarettes for a $1.75 when a normal pack is $3.50 and a lot of youths are smoking their cigarettes, so they can afford to pay another 45 cents a pack and that will defer some of the health care cost they are creating,” said Chiles.

The increase would cost Dosal smokers an extra 45 cents a pack. The increase could come on top of a dollar increase that passed the House last week.

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