Broward Demo Proposes New Cigarette Tax




Democratic Coconut Creek State Rep. Jim Waldman is taking on a familiar foe – the cigarette industry.

Waldman wants a new $1 tax on cigarettes to offset the proposed reduction in motor vehicle registration fees.


Jim Waldman fundraiser

Jim Waldman at a recent fundraiser at Property Appraiser Lori Parrish’s house. 


Five years ago, Waldman pushed through a $1-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes against intense lobbying by the tobacco industry.  It was the culmination of a three-year fight that required all of Waldman’s negotiating skills.

He was driven to pass the tax because of the 2001 death of his father Edward Waldman.  Edward Waldman died of smoking related cancer at 76 after a long two-pack-a-day habit.

Passing the cigarette tax made Waldman one of the few Broward legislators who have been able to get anything substantial from the Republican Legislature.

It will be interesting to see if lightening can strike twice for Waldman.

Here is the news release from the House Minority Office:




CONTACT:  Office of Representative Waldman

(954) 956-5600


Representative Jim Waldman Proposes Legislation
To Reduce Teen Smoking and Improve Florida’s Financial Health

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – To save lives and protect children, state Representative Jim Waldman (D-Coconut Creek) has filed House Bill 507 (Surcharge on Cigarettes) that will encourage smoking cessation and improve the state’s financial health.

Florida’s cigarette tax of $1.34 per pack is the 27th lowest in the nation. House Bill 507 would impose an additional $1 surcharge on each pack of cigarettes sold in Florida.

House Bill 507 specifies that funds raised by the surcharge, an estimated $838 million a year, are to be used to offset the costs of a proposed reduction in motor vehicle registration fees. Bipartisan legislation has been filed to rollback automobile registration charges that were imposed by the Legislature four years ago.

In Florida and elsewhere, cigarette price increases have proven an effective strategy to improve public health and reduce youth smoking. In 2009, Representative Waldman successfully championed an increase in the state’s cigarette surcharge. As a result, according to American Cancer Society, there was a 27 percent decline in the number of smokers in Florida, with 500,000 people opting to kick the habit.

“Raising the cigarette tax is good health policy and a proven way to reduce smoking rates among adults and youth,” said Representative Waldman. “My goal is to stop teen smoking. I’m also pleased that House Bill 507 offers the additional benefit of helping Florida address the priorities of education, healthcare and other essential state services.”

22 Responses to “Broward Demo Proposes New Cigarette Tax”

  1. spin says:

    27th lowest is the same as the 25th highest. It sounds like they are at a reasonable level.

  2. Dean Ledbetter says:

    Beware of killing the golden goose.

  3. creekie says:

    Thank G-d someone has the courage to stand up to big tobacco. Let’s see how many others stand strong and support this long needed measure. Cigarettes have caused much harm to many and those who choose to continue to smoke should pay for all of the harm of the past, present and future that cigarettes have on our environment and health.

    Kudos to rep Waldman!!!!!

  4. not your bros keeper says:

    Representative Jim Waldman (d)you should have been more proactive in your fathers health and choices to smoke cigarettes by forcing him into treatment to quit smoking, you are just as guilty in your father death as he was, yet you want everyone to pay for your bad choices. No more new taxes, spend your inheritance on the children if your that concerned.


    Oh, pleeeze. This e-mail is obviously the work of an idiot.
    And the way, Mr. Waldman is a well-respected lawyer who makes plenty of money on his own without any inheritance.

  5. Sam The Sham says:

    Lord, deliver me from tax raising do-gooders.

  6. Sheila Alu says:

    Not your bros keeper: I haven’t been on this site for a while. It’s just still so amazing to me how calious and cruel people can be when they don’t have to post their true identity. Jim Waldman and his family are such good people. It disgusts me that such a reply would even be posted. Many great elected officials are born from their tragic life experiences. Buddy I don’t know why you even give these people a forum when your posters write such stupid comments!


    This is from the former Sunrise Commissioner who unfortunately was recently stricken with cancer. It is good to hear from you, Sheila. We all hope you are doing well.

    To answer your question, I post these comments because they reflect the beliefs of at least one politically involved person in Broward. I assume the person is politically involved because who else would care enough to write the comment.

    I do sanitize or refuse to post truly offensive comments and have actually turned one recently over to the police. I didn’t view the comment about Waldman that offensive.

    I think you underestimate the readers of Browardbeat to analyze the comments and reach their own conclusions.

    That said, I did add a postscript to the comment based on your complaint.

  7. Are you serious says:

    @not your bros keeper You are an heartless asshole! Jim happens to be an amazing person! For you to bring up the death of a love one to tell of your disagreement, is not only low, but it’s insensitive! Get a life, jerk!

    Good work Jim! Buddy, great article!

  8. Lesa Peerman says:

    Representative Waldman,
    How about a tax on alcohol??? Last time I check no one has lit a cigarette and gotten into a car and killed 5 innocent people all in one shot. Where’s that tax for the health of the people?

  9. Sheila Alu says:

    Thanks Buddy! Just posts about elected officials family members shouldn’t be published– in my opinion. Feeling great glad to still be in this earth!

  10. Daniel Reynolds says:

    @Le. Although the car crash scenario is far more dramatic second hand smoke has killed many more people than drunk driving. That said, the best outcome from Rep. Waldman’s good idea would be for the state to make no money off of this tax because everyone quit smoking because of the increased cost.

  11. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    I agree with @LE and @DR and usually do not support tax increases. Increasing taxes would discourage smoking, but may increase smuggling of cigarettes. By increasing the cost hopefully less people smoke. If they increase the taxes, they should allocate funding for smoking sensation programs and use the money to pay for health related programs.

  12. Michael Somes says:

    There are Indian reservations all over Florida. I predict an upswing in business for those tax free cigarette shops if Waldman’s tax passes. Then Florida will lose all the money.

  13. Le Peerman says:

    Dan, alcoholism is a disease right? As well as causes numerous internal diseases, thus making it about the health the same as cigarettes is my point. Does anyone know when the last time there was a tax increase on alcohol? I don’t but I did ask Representative Waldman once when was he going to suggest one and he laughed.
    Not sure what statistics there is about people quitting smoking because of the price,especially since quitting smoking is one of the hardest addictions to stop but I would buy stock in generic brands.

  14. Sam The Sham says:

    In all fairness, Waldman’s father likely knew the risks but chose to smoke anyway. Now, do-gooder Waldman wants to tell us all how to behave. If cigarettes are bad, outlaw them. If they are legal, there should be no extra tax on them at all.

    Stop with the Nanny State. Stop with the Social Engineering. We are adults and can make our own decisions.

    The argument is made that both cigarettes and liquor cost the public money through public hospital care. The tax is imposed, in part, to offset that expense.

  15. Just the facts says:

    @Le no wonder he laughed at you. Who were the contributors to Waldman’s campaigns?

  16. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Sheila, so good to hear from you, glad your feeling “great”, and happy to be on this earth!….


  17. Liquor says:

    Florida has some of the highest alcohol taxes in the nation. The 4th highest on Liquor. Alaska (definitely) and Hawaii (probably) shouldn’t even count, and Illinois just recently raised their rates above ours.
    Beer is also in the top 5. Alaska and Hawaii again with the highest.


    Many states have an income tax. Eighteen states have state liquor stores, so they get all the retail profit and can set the price artificially high.

    The argument I heard in Tallahassee is that tourists pay a substantial amount of the state liquor and beer tax.

  18. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:


    I’m not one that believes alcoholism is a disease… Why? It’s the only “disease” in the DSM that has a spiritual component in its recovery.

    Ever try to 12-step your way out of Crohns Disease? See much hope in praying your way out of diabetes? Think God’s gonna help you with your raging case of herpes?

    Alcoholism became a disease when insurance companies moved in for a slice of the recovery pie.

    During my drinking days, it wasn’t a disease that made me suck down bourbon. It was an elbow that didn’t know how to say stop.

    However… All this being said.

    Call alcoholism a disease, character flaw, personality trait, upbringing, DNA, lack of self-control, self medicating, or living the vida loca … whatever its name, I, like millions of others, “have it.”

  19. Sam The Sham says:

    Buddy, the new tax is to offset reduced vehicle registration. Nowhere does it say money will go to pay for any smoking caused diseases.

    “House Bill 507 specifies that funds raised by the surcharge, an estimated $838 million a year, are to be used to offset the costs of a proposed reduction in motor vehicle registration fees.”

    It is just another way to squeeze more revenue from us without the politician feeling guilty. In fact he gets on his high horse and tells us it is for our own good (but he spends the money elsewhere).

    There are studies that tobacco reduces life expectancy to the point of saving the government money on social security.

  20. Alice in Wonderland says:

    #6 & #9 Sheila Alu (ex-wife of Joe “meaty” Alu, jr, the self anointed hero of Plantation PD, bodyguard to Ponzi schemer Scott W Rothstein & Kim, bodyguard who was beat up by a news reporter, pathetic, almost a FLPD officer)as an officer of the court how many times did you violate the Constitutional Rights of the accused? Did you run to Mike Satz when defense counsel pierced your thin skin? I do have a right to voice my opinion as your right you may disagree. Its not all about Sheila.

    Mr Nevins if you don’t want opposing views posted just shut down the comment section, don’t insult people by name calling or allowing others to be so vulgar.

    Jim Waldmans crusade is to have all smokers pay for Edward Waldmans “choice” to use tobacco products, Ed was smart enough to know the consequences of smoking just as all users of tobacco products are. For the children mantra is old. Let Jimmy boy spend his own money to save the children, if he is so truly committed to his cause.

    Mr Nevins you owe me an apology (dummy) I did correct your mistake below.


    Oh, pleeeze. This e-mail is obviously the work of an idiot.
    And {by} the way, Mr. Waldman is a well-respected lawyer who makes plenty of money on his own without any inheritance.

  21. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    I see both point of views for and against the cig. tax(1.00). My father died of COPD back in 91. (brought him to the promised land as well(-sucker-boy huh Bern-oh I know to the others-wonderful son ,horrible brother-. Really?)My point is are cigs bad for your health? Of course. This state w/ their anti -tobacco campaigns are the best in the nation. They will send you nicotine patches(free) and all sorts of litature to help you quit. Which alot of us paid for w/ the” Engle trust” fund that was established for people who got sick, and their next of kin. Yes all those billions(we got a lousy 9g)- a lot of that money went to Florida. Again I smoke. Yes, a pack last me 2days. Will it kill me? I feel good, excerise, etc. I don’t smoke two(2) packs a day. I think anything in moderate is the key. As far as a new tax, enough already. So in other words when you buy a pack of smokes you are paying to get sick. Yes, so if you or I , or anyone else comes down w/ lung issues, we paid to get sick . All that tax money they are generating should go to sick smokers. After all that is why we are paying 10bucks for a pack. Now you want to raise it again. See my point…..

  22. Kevin says:

    So, the plan is to make the state budget more dependent on a group of people (smokers) whose numbers Mr. Waldman seeks to reduce. How does that make any fiscal sense?