According to the Tax Foundation and data from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, smuggled cigarettes account for 56.9 percent of all cigarettes smoked in New York City. The smuggled cigarettes were smuggled into the state from other states where the tobacco tax is lower.
According to CBS news, the cigarette tax in New York City is $4.35 per pack. In states such as Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia, the tax on tobacco is less than $1 per pack.
Officials from the American Lung Association dispute these figures by stating that the Mackinac Center for Public Policy receives funding from tobacco companies. The American Lung Association states that smuggling is a lot smaller than what the report claims.
Source: Jonathan Berr, “The boom in smuggling to avoid cigarette taxes,” CBS News, March 21, 2014.