In an interview with WOR radio host John Gambilng, Mayor Bloomberg essentially laid the smack down on Governor Paterson, saying that he should tax Indian cigarette sales and “let the federal government sue us” if there is a problem.
The cigarette tax in New York City caused a 35 percent drop in local sales, and it stands to reason that the huge hike would drive smokers elsewhere.
“I’ve said this to David Paterson, I said, you know, ‘Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun. If there’s ever a great video, it’s you standing in the middle of the New York State Thurway saying, you know, ‘Read my lips — the law of the land is this, and we’re going to enforce the law.'”
Clearly, a hot button issue for Bloomberg, as he reverts back to questionably offensive cowboys and Indians metaphors. Yet the reality of the situation is that New York’s an island among states with cigarette prices so relatively low it’s as though they’re begging New Yorkers to kill themselves on the cheap. Indian reservations a five-hour drive upstate aren’t smokers’ only bargain outlets, though.
When you can chain smoke the whole drive to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Connecticut, It would be silly not to stock up when approaching state borders. It’s no wonder NYC tobacco addicts often (who pay up to $13 in New York) make pilgrimages to get their fix without smoking through their cash.
We priced out two brands of cigarettes at a few afternoon road-trip destinations. Gawk and compare (and click to enlarge map images). Note: if you would like directions, Google the name and city of each convenience market; trust us, it’s less confusing that way.
Hoboken Mini Mart: Hoboken, NJ
Marlboro Light: $7.65
10 min. by car
30 min. by PATH train
Prospect Market: Stamford, CT
Marlboro Light: $8.50
58 min. by car
7-Eleven: Allentown, PA
Marlboro Light: $5.17
1 hr. 38 min. by car
You should still quit smoking, but until then, at least keep your options open.