NY State Approves $4.35/Pack Tax On Cigarettes

As we reported over the weekend, the NY State Legislature was considering a proposal to increase the state’s already high $2.75/pack tax on cigarettes by $1.60. And last night, the ayes had it over the coughing and hacking nos, making New York the most expensive place to smoke in the U.S.

More precisely, New York City, which charges its own cigarette tax on top of the state and federal taxes, is the most expensive place to light up, with smokers paying $6.85/pack in taxes alone.

In addition to the cigarette tax, the bill also raised taxes on cigars and chewing tobacco by 29%.

The tax hike, which is expected to bring in around $290 million a year, is part of the state’s plan to do something about its $9.2 billion deficit.

“We are going to collect revenue and ensure that young people don’t have access to cheap smokes,” said one politician.

This increase now leapfrogs New York over Rhode Island’s $3.46/pack cigarette tax and into first place.

While the state is hoping is hoping it doesn’t lose out on revenue by New Yorkers who go running across the border to New Jersey or Connecticut for cheaper cigs, the American Heart Association is holding out hope that smokers will just give up the costly habit rather than keep smoking.

“They are going to see well over 100,000 adults who will quit smoking because of this,” said the American Heart Association’s rep.

To all the smokers out there: At what price point do cigarettes become to expensive to smoke?

Legislature OKs raising cigarette tax $1.60 to U.S. high $4.35 A PACK! [NY Daily News]