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Allouez cigar lounge owner takes issue with Gov's smoker surcharge

Titletown Tobacco
Titletown Tobacco

ALLOUEZ, WI (WTAQ) - An Allouez cigar lounge and shop owner is taking issue with Governor Walker’s budget proposal for a $50 health insurance surcharge for public workers who smoke. 

Titletown Tobacco owner Luke Russell is a supporter of Walker but is asking the Governor to define who smokes; Is it someone who is a social smoker or regularly lights up, or someone who smokes a cigarette or cigar?

Russell believes Walker has lost his conservative backbone on this one.

Anti-smoking groups are against it, saying there is little scientific evidence that incentives or disincentives make people quit.

Walker’s administration says smokers cost a third more to insure than non-smokers.

Russell questions if this is a slippery slope and compares this to New York City and their ban on large sugary sodas.

The Affordable Health Care Act allows health insurance companies to charge a premium for smokers.