Cigarette sales are up — what to do?

Posted July 30, 2010, at 4:52 p.m.

Cigarette sales are up 5 percent in Maine during the first half of the year. Is this a reflection of the economy? Do people out of work smoke more, perhaps anxious about their economic fate? Are more young people taking up the habit? Should these numbers spur state lawmakers to raise taxes on cigarettes even further, to discourage young people from taking up smoking? Or is this up-tick merely a statistical blip?