New Cigarette Tax Will Make Bumming a Smoke an Insurmountable Faux Pas


No, you can’t have one. Maybe you can give me a dollar for a loosie. Probably not, though. It’s bad for you anyway. A deal between Gov. David Paterson and state legislatures will give New York the highest cigarette tax in the United States of America, raising prices by $1.60 per pack, or nearly the price of an entire pack in Real America. In January, Paterson recommended a $1 per pack increase; what’s another $.60? Actually it’s $582.40 more dollars a year, in total, if you smoke a pack a day.

The budget bill is up for an emergency vote on Monday, according to the Times.

In New York City, which levies steep taxes of its own on tobacco products, a pack of cigarettes would come with a tax of $5.85, making it the nation’s first city to break $5, antismoking advocates said. That would bring the overall cost of a pack of premium cigarettes above $10 in many stores in the city.

This week I was talking to a stranger and apropos of nothing, he mentioned that he’s never bought beer in his life. He was bragging. It’s bad for you, he seemed to be insinuating. “I’d never put a six-pack in my fridge,” he said. “But I mean, I’ll have a beer at a party or something. I won’t bring it. I might bring wine, though.” It was a strange thing to bring up. Smug, too, I felt. “So you’re that guy at parties who drinks other people’s beer, but never brings his own,” said someone else. “I guess,” the guy chuckled.

Stop asking people you don’t know for their cigarettes.