The Northern Marianas has signed into law a bill increasing cigarette tax by 75 UScents a pack.
The new health and revenue-generating law brings the cigarette tax to US$2.75 a pack, up from US$2, and after three years, the cigarette tax will increase by another US$1 a pack.
It will mean a pack of cigarettes that previously retailed for US$3.75 could go up to US$4.50, and then to US$5.50 after the third year.
Western Sales Trading Company, the biggest cigarette wholesaler in the CNMI, says the impact on cigarette retail prices would be immediate.
It carries the brands Camel, Capri, Kool, Pall Mall and Doral, among other things.
In signing the bill, Governor Eloy Inos said 7 percent of the excise tax collected under this section would be reserved for the solid waste management program.