Cumberland County is one of nine counties where the sales tax is now 8 percent or higher. In most other counties, it is now 7.75 percent.
The so-called Sin Tax means cigarettes cost an extra 10 cents a pack. The tax on beer, wine and liquor also is up.
Passed by the General Assembly last month, the increase is supposed to last 10 months.
Governor Beverly Perdue expects the one percent increase to raise $803 million in revenue to help the state deal with a massive budget deficit.
Republican critics say it hurts unemployed people and others who don't have much money.
Democrats are not thrilled about the increase but say it's needed to avoid more layoffs in state government.