In a city wide sweep of 1,700 stores licensed to sell cigarettes, New York City officials found that 42 percent of stores were either selling untaxed cigarettes or packs of cigarettes with counterfeit tax stamps on them.
The tax rate for cigarettes in New York City at the time of the enforcement actions was $5.85. Customers buying a pack of cigarettes in stores are expected to pay over $10. If they purchase the pack illegally on the black market, they normally pay around $5 per pack.
Back in 2009, up to $150 Million in cigarette tax revenue was estimated to have been lost to the NYC government due to the illegal tobacco trade.
Source: David Seifman, “NYC probe finds massive number of illegal, untaxed cigs,” New York Post, June 8, 2012.