Editor’s Note: Before buying loosies, see Rat droppings and human excrement: Illegal cigarettes mixed with harmful ingredients are putting Southampton’s smokers at risk and Potentially Fake Newport Cigarettes.
Buttleggers love New York.
That’s because it is fertile ground for their illegal activities, since it is now more expensive than ever to buy smokes in the Big Apple.
New York has “the worst smuggling problem in America,” said Scott Drenkard, with the Tax Foundation.
The least one can now legally pay for a pack in New York City is $13, which was recently raised from $10.50.
“For someone who smokes cigarettes regularly, cigarettes [for a month] can cost as much as two months’ worth of groceries, family cell phone bills for a year, or a vacation,” according to Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, New York City Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner.
Cigarette taxes and a new minimum price rule have raised the price of a pack by about 200 percent over the past decade.