New York Cigarette Tax Drives Up Smuggling

Instances 'costing legitimate retailers and wholesalers billions of dollars in sales'

By 
Kristina Peters, Associate Editor, CSP

NEW YORK -- New York’s high taxes on tobacco products have led to an explosion in cigarette smuggling, according to a national survey by the Tax Foundation. And it’s taking a toll on retailers.

“What’s going on now is costing legitimate licensed retailers and wholesalers billions of dollars in sales,” James Calvin, director of the New York State Association of Convenience Stores, told The (Oneonta, N.Y.) Daily Star.

Here's a look at how things are shook out in 2017:

$4.35—New York’s cigarette tax, the highest of all 50 states

$1.50—Additional cigarette tax imposed by New York City. And in June, legislation will take effect raising the minimum price (including taxes) for a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13 in the city.

56.8%—Cigarettes consumed in New York that come from smuggled sources

60%—Increase of smuggling cigarettes into New York since 2006