by Diane Tuazon
ODESSA - For Brian Rudloff getting a pack of cigarettes is getting a little too pricy. "Money wise it really hits you in the pocketbook," Ruloff said.
The 62 cent hike in cigarette tax has brought the average cost of a box of cigarettes up to about $6.
Rudloff says he hasn't quite given up on smoking, but is certainly smoking a lot less. "I'm trying to slow down in the instance of money wise," Rudloff said.
For the Prevention Resource Center, Vella Connley says the increase in cigarette tax is lighting up their Quit Smoking Hotline.
"Now with the tax increase. We've had people coming in and caling is to help them," Vella Connley said.
The Prevention Resource Center is working with local hospitals and the American Cancer Society to help smokers quit.
"Anyone who wants to call the quit line. They will be provided with two months of the patch," Connley said.
As for Rudloff, he says he's willing to put out his cigarette for good if matters get worse. "If it keeps going up, I wouldn't mind quiting," Rudloff said.
For him and other smokers willing to quit, someone on the other line can help along the way.
"A support group is really required knowing there's someone there for you when you need it," Connley said.