New state laws, taxes start July 1

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Lighting up in South Carolina is about to get more expensive.

Smothers in the Palmetto State will be paying more for their cigarettes when the state's cigarette tax goes up to 57 cents on Thursday.

The tax will go to raise nearly $125 million for the state's Medicare program. Some smokers are stocking up before the price goes up.

Some stores in the Lowcountry said they're having a hard time keeping their shelves stocked

Vendors said that once the increase takes effect, they think people will either buy fewer packs of cigarettes or generic brands to help cut down on costs.

Georgia's new texting-while-driving law

On Thursday, a new Georgia law that bans cellphone use such as texting while driving or surfing the Internet on a phone goes into effect.

Starting July 1, it will be illegal for any driver in Georgia to text while driving. Anyone younger than 18 cannot use a cell phone while driving, under the law. Violators can face a $150 fine.

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