With 3 Packs You Get An Eggroll

New York’s astronomical taxes on cigarettes and attempts to make Indian reservations pay sales tax is having a strange effect on the market.  A pack of legal, name-brand smokes in our state costs about $10.  That’s roughly $4 for the product plus $6 in various taxes.

Supposedly this is to force you to quit smoking but New York State really doesn’t care about your health – they just want added tax revenue.  And now the state is trying to discourage tax-free, cigarette sales on Indian reservations where the average price is a few bucks less per pack.

So what can poor smokers do?  More and more of them are buying cigarettes – like Marlboro and Newport – from street vendors for about $5 a pack.  On a recent 10-minute walk down a main Rochester street, I was approached by TWO furtive vendors whispering “Newports? Marlboro?” I don’t smoke cigarettes but I asked one if he had any weed (pot)?  He gave me a disgusted look and quickly walked away.  Obviously I was lower on the low-life scale than he.

These street cigarettes used to be smuggled by the truck full into New York from legitimate tobacco warehouses in the South.  But today, with increased demand because of the ridiculous taxes, there are now huge shipments of COUNTERFEIT cigarettes coming from China!  They look just like the real thing.  Taste?  Who knows?  And if an extra yak hair or two is in the mix, what’s the FDA going to say anyway?

How can you tell if you get counterfeit smokes?  Well if there’s a small fortune cookie in the bottom of the pack, chances are the R.J. Reynolds company didn’t make it.

3 Responses to “With 3 Packs You Get An Eggroll”

  1. Bill says:

    Prohibition was a god-send for criminals. So are illegal drugs. Taxing tobacco products to the extent addicts can no longer afford them legally means more money for the crooks.

    NYS is jacking up all the fees because the politicians are afraid of raising the income tax and/or cutting costs. This will continue until the voters toss out the incumbents. Which they won’t do.

  2. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    Now we can sue Chinese Tobacco companies. That should be a good thing. If you smoke a Chinese cigarrette, do you get the urge for another one right away?

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