Jan 10 New York State sells more bootlegged
cigarettes than any U.S. state, with 60.9 percent of the
cigarettes sold secreted into its borders improperly, according
to a report released on Thursday.
Arizona and New Mexico also had high rates of smuggled
cigarettes, at 54.4 percent and 53.0 percent, respectively,
according to the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.,
business-oriented tax research organization.
New York has higher tobacco taxes than any other state, at
$4.35 per pack. That does not include a local New York City tax
of $1.50 per pack, the group said.
"Dramatic increases in state cigarette taxes have yielded
additional revenue for priorities like public health, but have
also fueled the rise of organized crime and law enforcement
corruption," said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard in a
The foundation used data from the Mackinac Center for Public
Policy, a Michigan think-tank.
Cigarettes can be bootlegged by bringing in lower-priced
packs from other states, counterfeiting state tax stamps,
hijacking trucks or bribing officials to ignore illegal
States, cities and the federal government have hiked taxes
on tobacco products in order to raise revenue and encourage
smokers to quit.
A USA Today analysis found in September that a 39 cent
federal cigarette tax hike signed by President Barack Obama in
2009 contributed to at least 3 million more people giving up the