20 Sep '12, 4pm
Almost 40% of cigarette taxes collected in NY come from those earning $30,000 a year or less:
Low-income smokers in New York spend 25 percent of their income on cigarettes, according to a new study, which led advocates for smokers’ rights to say it proved high taxes were regressive and ineffective. … In New York, which has the nation’s highest cigarette taxes, a pack of cigarettes can cost $12, though many smokers have turned to buying cheaper cigarettes online or to using roll-your-own devices. Wealthier smokers — those earning $60,000 or more — spend 2 percent on cigarettes, according to the study. … [The American Cancer Society's Russ] Sciandra said state statistics showed that smokers earning less than $30,000 a year paid 39 percent of state and city taxes on cigarettes. He added that more of the cigarette tax revenue should be used to finance smoking-cessation programs.