In the new prohibition, it's where the money is:
More than half of the cigarettes sold in New York State are smuggled in from other places to avoid the Empire State's taxes on smokes, which have soared nearly 200 percent since 2006, according to a report issued by the conservative Tax Foundation.Yeah, and how's that working out for you?
New York is the highest net importer of smuggled cigarettes -- illegal smokes account for 56.9 percent of the state's total market. New York's cigarettes tax is $4.35 per pack, the country's highest. The situation there isn't unique. The Tax Foundation also cites a study that found that 58.7 percent of discarded cigarettes found in five Northeastern cities lacked proper tax stamps.
Taxes on cigarettes, which are designed to discourage smoking, vary widely. States such as Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia have levies of less than a $1 per pack. These wide differences make smuggling "both a national problem and a lucrative criminal enterprise," according to the Tax Foundation.
Antismoking activists have long argued that fewer people will buy cigarettes if they're expensive. Chicago recently raised its cigarette taxes for that reason. Combined with state and local levies, the total is now $7.17 a pack.