If you’re a New York smoker, I’m sure you have something to say about the new cigarette tax. I know some people who are afraid to go to the store today because they don’t want to hear how much the cigarettes cost now. Luckily, for most, the journey to a neighboring state isn’t that far, and they can stock up when they get there.
New York now has the highest tax on cigarettes, making them the state with the highest priced cigarettes. Governor Patterson has also gone after taxes on cigarettes sold at Indian reservations
Honestly, why are smokers going to bear the brunt of the budget crisis in New York state? Every day on the nightly news, headlines speak of the government shutting down in New York because the legislature can’t agree with Patterson and he is just going to use his veto power to push through everything he wants to pass anyway (and block everything he doesn’t want to pass).
All right, I hear what you are saying. Patterson is doing it to save the state money in the long-run because more smokers are going to quit and then there will be less lung cancer and other cigarette-related illnesses. Ask any smoker and they will tell you, it’s not that easy to quit. You can’t just up the price of something and expect people to stop buying it. Smoking is an addiction, one which is enjoyed by many people who happen to be not always so rich.
Smokers can probably go days without eating, but most of them cannot go more than six hours without a cigarette (some of them can’t even last that long). Increasing the price of cigarettes is only going to hurt these people more because they are going to have less money to spend on things that they really need.
Then there are the people who say that smokers deserve what they get. Most smokers start when they are young and it continues into their adulthood. Most smokers wish they had never started. If you made a mistake in your adolescent and it came back to bite you all the time, you might be pretty upset also.
Many of the reports out there are not reliable on this subject, either. Some of them claim that more young adults will be stopped from picking up the habit, but I know that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Before I was of legal age, I used to get cigarettes for free from other people. It’s not a very difficult thing to do.
My latest report was $9.00 for Basics. I don’t know the price for Marlboros, but it’s probably scary. Living in the Tri-State area may prove to be a blessing after all.