New York State Sets the Highest Cigarette Tax in the Country
After many delays and setbacks, a tentative state budget has been agreed upon. There are a number of proposals on and off the boards as of now, and one agreement could set the tax on cigarettes in New York state has the highest in the nation.
However, a proposed ban on menthol cigarettes may be off the tables, according to Gothamist.
The Post Standard says that Governor Hochul and NY state lawmakers have finally agreed to a tentative deal on a $229 billion budget for the fiscal year.
Spending a lot of cash on cigarettes in New York state isn't anything really new. According to Wise Voter, the cost for a pack of cigarettes in New York state is already the highest in the country, at $10.53 per pack.
New York State Cigarette Tax to Skyrocket Even More?
According to Gothamist, New York state’s cigarette tax will jump from $1 to $5.35. This will set the cigarette tax has the country's highest. Governor Kathy Hochul and others have said that the increase was set to discourage young people from smoking to begin with. Some opponents though, such as convenience store owners, argued that increases prices could hurt their businesses.
Others fear the continued increase in prices could fuel sales on the black market.
Hochul had also initially pushed for the ban of all flavored and menthol cigarettes in the state, though that appears to be no longer part of the agreement.
New York State's Smoking Rate
According to Health NY, New York state has some of the lowest smoking rates already in the country among adults. The New York State Health Commissioner announced that the adult cigarette smoking rate in New York State achieved a new low of 12 percent in 2020. The average smoking rate for the U.S. is 15.5 percent.
However, even with these numbers, the effects of cigarette smoking remain a health concern across New York. According to NY Health data, smoking and secondhand smoking still kill over 22,000 thousand people a year in New York City alone.