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News > Tobacco costs soar
Tobacco costs soar

Posted 1/11/2007   Updated 1/16/2007 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Moore
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

1/11/2007 - ELLSWORTH AFB, S.D. -- There's no better time to follow up on those new year's resolutions to quit smoking.

Tobacco users will notice a price increase on their preferred products effective Jan. 16.
Prices will increase at the base exchange, shoppette and commissary.

The price increases vary by product. In addition to South Dakota increasing the tax on tobacco products, the majority of tobacco companies also increased their prices, which translated to overall retail price increases.

Department of Defense Instruction 1330.9 requires Army and Air Force Exchange Service/Defense Commissary Agency tobacco prices to be set 5 percent below the surveyed price in support of the military de-glamourization of alcohol and tobacco.

"Due to this instruction, when tobacco sell prices increases in the local market, they ultimately increase on the base," said Andy Louder, Ellsworth Base Exchange general manager.

The pricing policy is neither an AAFES nor DECA policy; it is a Department of Defense policy the stores must follow, Mr. Louder explained.

"We realize many people will not be happy about this change and we hope that our customers don't take out their frustrations on our associates," Mr. Louder said.

On the bright side, the additional dollars generated from this price increase will ultimately benefit MWR/Services programs since AAFES earnings support these programs.

"Last year Ellsworth Services received more than $330,000 from AAFES earnings," said Mr. Louder.

For those who'd rather quit smoking than pay more for tobacco, the Health and Wellness Center will continue to offer tobacco cessation classes. The course consists of four, one-hour classes. The instructor uses American Cancer Society fresh start curriculum, said Tanya Henriques, 28th Bomb Wing health education program manager. Those who attend the class qualify for free medication to help ensure their success.

Additionally, the HAWC encourages members to call the American Lung Association help line at 1-800-548-8252.

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