Sunday, July 27, 2014

Exorbant tax rates result in death

That could have been the headline for the story here.

Police told WCBS that 43-year-old Garner, a father of six, had a lengthy criminal history and had been previously arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes in May.
The actual headline was "New York man dies after chokehold by police".

Contraband cigarettes and other tobacco products are an issue in New York, as the tax rates are $4.35 per pack - the highest in the nation.  There is an incentive for smokers to buy from illegal vendors lower-priced (but identical) cigarettes, or non-identical but also lower-priced cigarettes from Indian Reservations.  According to public health experts I've talked to, about 1/3 of cigarettes consumed in New York state are contraband.

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