High Cigarette Prices in New York Mostly Just Hurt the Poor

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Despite New York imposing the highest cigarette tax in the nation, there was no noticeable decline in smoking among the state's poorest citizens between 2003 and 2010, according to a new study with no silver lining. People making less than $30,000 a year spend 23.6 percent of their income on cigarettes, almost ten points higher than the national average, while those earning more than $60,000 spend an average of just 2.2 percent of their income on the same expensive packs.