My own submitted comment for the linked page:
Will smokers have any money left, as the first sentence in this article asks? I expect to have some money left the next time I buy cigs after this month is over. I don't even smoke the expensive big name brands anymore. I now smoke brands made by Native Americans, and some of them taste just about as good as Marlboro and Newport. The reason why nobody has heard of Native American cigs is because these brands are a lot more cheaper than premiums...about 15-20 bucks per carton. And since Natives are non-fire safe cigs, you likely won't find them offline anyway.
The cost for a pack of Newports isn't gonna make me broke or homeless. That's because I spent time trying lots of the Native brands (menthols AND regulars) over the past few months.
And if I wanna buy a Newport pack as of April, I think I already know where I can get a pack at a price lower than the local price for a pack in the Windy City. Those folks who walk around selling packs of Newports in the streets by me will be the winners of the federal tobacco tax increase. The losers will be ALL states, politicians, and of course the stores.
I will warn the stores since cigs are worth a lot more now in the underground market, that means we will hear of more heists involving cartons and packs in 2009.