The recession—coupled with a historic increase in the federal tobacco tax—is hitting smokers pretty hard, MSNBC reports. “We had a light bill that needed to be paid, so we paid a third of it so we could have cigarette money,” said one who’s tried to quit numerous times. “We’ve done that a couple times. It kind of works out but it makes it rough for the next week.”
Though the recession has sparked a boom in people trying to quit, it has also hit anti-smoking agencies in the wallet. “In an environment where you’ve got a higher tax, mass media campaigns and everything else lining up to push lifestyle change, it’s tragic that when we are having more people interested in quitting, we are withdrawing cessation resources,” an advocate said.