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Mayor de Blasio wants to hike the the minimum price stores can charge for a pack of cigarettes to $13. It’s terrific news…for the criminal organizations that make their money selling them illegally.
Decades of that approach to snuffing out smoking has backfired. New York City already has some of the highest cigarette taxes in the country, but most smokers have found a way around it. In 2014, a Tax Foundation report found New York had the highest rate of illegal cigarette consumption, estimating that 56.9% of the smokes here were purchased from a seller that didn’t pay taxes on them.
By de Blasio’s logic, setting the minimum price to $1,000 will all but eliminate smoking. The world doesn’t work that way
This plan would also hurt convenience store owners who play by the rules, who will lose customers to those smugglers.
City officials would have to be smoking something to miss the problems with this policy. Reclaim New York knows that we need solutions that are rooted in reality.
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