Cigarette Smokers Save New York

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Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, iStockphoto

Last night the state legislature added $1.60 in taxes to each pack of cigarettes sold in the state as part of its latest emergency budget bill, pushing total statewide per-pack taxes to $4.35, easily the highest in the country. The average pack of smokes in New York will now cost around $9.20, and in the city, which has its own taxes, almost $11. The bill also authorized the collection of taxes on Native American reservations on purchases by visitors starting in September — although that didn't turn out well the last time they tried it — and on chewing tobacco and cigars. The levies come amid an ongoing budget crisis, and will provide $440 million to health-care programs that otherwise might not have received funding. It's a good thing so many nicotine addicts are physically incapable of not smoking, no matter how much their habit is taxed!

Cigarette Tax Increased to Keep State Running [NYT]
Legislature OKs raising cigarette tax $1.60 to U.S. high $4.35 A PACK! [NYDN]
Related: The Smoke-Shop Signals of the Unkechaug [NYM]