Editor’s Note: The anti-trafficking proposal discussed below ignores the massive supply of counterfeit, off-brand, “plain white” and other illicit cigarettes. For more information on the supply of contraband cigarettes and its consequences, please see CRE’s comments to the FDA titled, Weaponizing Poverty.
Tracking cigarette packs may boost public health, researchers claim
NEW YORK — A federal program that let law enforcement trace cigarette packs from manufacturer to consumer would reduce interstate trafficking and boost the public health benefits of state cigarette tax policies, researchers say.
Without a national tracking system in place, smokers evade taxes, there’s less of a barrier to youth smoking and local governments miss out on revenue, the authors of a new study contend.
Kevin Davis of the nonprofit research organization RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and his colleagues calculated that the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Providence and Washington, DC, combined, could collect between $690 million and $729 million per year in cigarette taxes if trafficking stopped.
“What is key about this is that these calculations are not actual losses in revenue,” Davis said. “This is money that could be added to government income.”