AUGUSTA, ME - For the first time in several years, cigarette sales in Maine increased, reports the Bangor Daily News.
As measured by the sale of the state's tax stamps that are required on every pack sold within the state, sales have increased five percent since January, an unprecedented rise, according to Main Revenue Services.
"This is the first time that anybody at [Maine] Revenue Services (MRS) can remember where we actually had an increase in our cigarette stamp sales, and it has been a five percent increase since the start of the calendar year and that is unheard of," said Mike Allen, research director at MRS.
Allen said that Maine cigarette tax stamps sales have decreased one or two percent every year, though for the fiscal year that ended June 30, sales were up one percent over a year ago.
"No one in the office could remember when we had an increase, year over year," he said.
Additionally, Maine's Attorney General said that tobacco law enforcement efforts have intensified within the state, leading to a decrease in the sale of illegal cigarettes and perhaps a shift among consumers of those to lawfully taxed cigarettes.