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Chicago is the largest city in the state of Illinois. With over 2.8 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous city in the USA. Its metropolitan area, commonly named "Chicagoland," is the 28th most populous in the world, home to an estimated 9.7 million people spread across the U.S. states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County.

The city is a center for business and finance and is listed as one of the world's top ten Global Financial Centers. The World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University rated Chicago as an "alpha world city". In a 2010 survey collaboration between Foreign Policy and A.T Kearney ranking cities, Chicago ranked 6th just after Paris and Hong Kong. The ranking assesses five dimensions: value of capital markets, diversity of human capital, international information resources, international cultural resources, and political influence. Chicago is a stronghold of the Democratic Party and has been home to many influential politicians, including the current President of the United States, Barack Obama.

The city's notoriety expressed in popular culture is found in novels, plays, movies, songs, various types of journals (e.g., sports, entertainment, business, trade, and academic), and the news media. Chicago has numerous nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best known include: "Chi-town," "Windy City," "Second City," and the "City of Big Shoulders." Chicago has also been called "the most American of big cities."

Highest Cigarette Tax in the Nation

Chicago, Illinois smokers are unhappy with the, yet again, rising prices on cigarettes. The cigarettes prices in Chicago are already the highest in the nation and the Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel plans on increasing the tax again. It will raise the cigarette prices by 75 cents. Gas stations, tobacco shops, and more are already feeling the decrease in revenue and will feel it even harder. Proposed taxes will lower the profit of the shops and will ultimately cause layoffs due to decreased funds.

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