The US Congress failed to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by the October 1 deadline, a program that is supported by tobacco taxes, according to a story relayed by the TMA.

CHIP is a Federal program that was expanded in 2009 with funding coming from federal excise tax increases on tobacco products.

The tax increases remain in effect.

The 2009 expansion levied a federal excise tax of 52.75 percent on cigars, capped at 40.26 cents per piece, on every cigar imported to the US, and increased the federal tax on cigarettes from 39 cents to $1 per pack.

“Tax itself is statute,” said Daniel Trope, director of federal government affairs for the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association.

“If anything, (the money will) just go to general treasury but the tax remains in perpetuity.” 

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