Dot Schnitz and Wendy Strisko have been smokers for many years. Like most smokers they realize the habit is expensive, but they don't have any plans to quit.
In the coming months many smokers in East Texas will think about quitting because a pack of cigarettes will cost them another dollar. They are not excited about the price increase. "I think it's a little bit ridiculous. It's free will. Everybody should be able to smoke if they want to, don't if they don't have to, we shouldn't be taxed because of it," says Dot Schnitz. "I understand that it bothers other people also but you have some people like me that can't enjoy sitting down to eat if you can't smoke bad habit that it may be, everybody has bad habits. I don't see why smoking has to be chosen as to anything else," says Wendy Strisko.
These smokers feel they are being targeted and they're blaming Governor Perry. "I think he is being bias and picking on people that smoke," says Schnitz.
But rather than just complain some smokers are planning to make their voices heard in this year's governor race. "It's my only alternative, to be able to make a statement," says Strisko.
Governor Perry believes raising the cigarette tax was the right thing to do to fund education and he's taking a stand against smokers. "I will tell you I don't make any apologies to the smokers of the state of Texas because of what they are doing to their own health or what they are costing the rest of us in medical care, that the rest of taxpayers have been paying in the past," says Gov. Rick Perry.